Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


Of

Of

(ŏv)
,
p
rep.
[AS.
of
of, from, off; akin to D. & OS.
af
, G.
ab
off, OHG.
aba
from, away, Icel., Dan., Sw., & Goth.
af
, L.
ab
, Gr. [GREEK], Skr.
apa
. Cf.
Off
,
A-
(2),
Ab-
,
After
,
Epi-
.]
In a general sense, from, or out from; proceeding from; belonging to; relating to; concerning; – used in a variety of applications; as:
1.
Denoting that from which anything proceeds; indicating origin, source, descent, and the like;
as, he is
of
a race of kings; he is
of
noble blood.
That holy thing which shall be born
of
thee shall be called the Son of God.
Luke i. 35.
I have received
of
the Lord that which also I delivered unto you.
1 Cor. xi. 23.
2.
Denoting possession or ownership, or the relation of subject to attribute;
as, the apartment
of
the consul: the power
of
the king; a man
of
courage; the gate
of heaven
.
“Poor of spirit.”
Macaulay.
3.
Denoting the material of which anything is composed, or that which it contains;
as, a throne
of
gold; a sword
of
steel; a wreath
of
mist; a cup
of
water.
4.
Denoting part of an aggregate or whole; belonging to a number or quantity mentioned; out of; from amongst;
as,
of
this little he had some to spare; some
of
the mines were unproductive; most
of
the company.
It is
of
the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed.
Lam. iii. 22.
It is a duty to communicate
of
those blessings we have received.
Franklin.
5.
Denoting that by which a person or thing is actuated or impelled; also, the source of a purpose or action; due to;
as, they went
of
their own will; no body can move
of
itself; he did it
of
necessity.
For it was
of
the Lord to harden their hearts.
Josh. xi. 20.
6.
Denoting reference to a thing; about; concerning; relating to;
as, to boast
of
one's achievements; they talked
of
many things
.
Knew you
of
this fair work?
Shakespeare
7.
Denoting nearness or distance, either in space or time; from;
as, within a league
of
the town; within an hour
of
the appointed time.
8.
Denoting identity or equivalence; – used with a name or appellation, and equivalent to the relation of apposition;
as, the continent
of
America; the city
of
Rome; the Island
of
Cuba.
9.
Denoting the agent, or person by whom, or thing by which, anything is, or is done; by.
And told to her
of
[by] some.
Chaucer.
He taught in their synagogues, being glorified
of
all.
Luke iv. 15.
[Jesus] being forty days tempted
of
the devil.
Luke iv. 1, 2.
☞ The use of the word in this sense, as applied to persons, is nearly obsolete.
10.
Denoting relation to place or time; belonging to, or connected with;
as, men
of
Athens; the people
of
the Middle Ages; in the days
of
Herod.
11.
Denoting passage from one state to another; from.
[Obs.]
“O miserable of happy.”
Milton.
12.
During; in the course of.
Not be seen to wink
of
all the day.
Shakespeare
My custom always
of
the afternoon.
Shakespeare
Of may be used in a subjective or an objective sense. “The love of God” may mean, our love for God, or God's love for us.
From is the primary sense of this preposition; a sense retained in off, the same word differently written for distinction. But this radical sense disappears in most of its application; as, a man of genius; a man of rare endowments; a fossil of a red color, or of an hexagonal figure; he lost all hope of relief; an affair of the cabinet; he is a man of decayed fortune; what is the price of corn? In these and similar phrases, of denotes property or possession, or a relation of some sort involving connection. These applications, however all proceeded from the same primary sense. That which proceeds from, or is produced by, a person or thing, either has had, or still has, a close connection with the same; and hence the word was applied to cases of mere connection, not involving at all the idea of separation.
Of consequence
,
of importance, value, or influence.
Of late
,
recently; in time not long past.
Of old
,
formerly; in time long past.
Of one's self
,
by one's self; without help or prompting; spontaneously.

Why, knows not Montague, that
of
itself
England is safe, if true within itself?
Shakespeare

Webster 1828 Edition


Of

OF

, prep. ov. [Gr.]
1.
From or out of; proceeding from, as the cause, source, means, author or agent bestowing.
I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered to you. 1Cor. 11.
For it was of the Lord to harden their hearts. Josh. 11.
It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed.
Lam. 3.
The whole disposing thereof is of the Lord. Prov. 16.
Go, inquire of the Lord for me. 2Chron. 34.
That holy thing that shall be born of thee. Luke 1.
Hence of is the sign of the genitive case, the case that denotes production; as the son of man, the son proceeding from man, produced from man. This is the primary sense, although we now say, produced by man. 'Part of these were slain;' that is, a number separate, for part denotes a division; the sense then is, a number from or out of the whole were slain. So also, 'some of these were slain;' that is, some from or out of others. 'I have known him of old, or of a child;' that is, from old times, from a child. 'He is of the race of kings;' that is, descended from kings. 'He is of noble blood or birth, or of ignoble origin.' 'No particle of matter, or no body can move of itself;' that is, by force or strength proceeding from itself, derived from itself.
'The quarrel is not now of fame and tribute, or of wrongs done;' that is, from fame or wrongs, as the cause, and we may render it concerning, about, relating to.
'Of this little he had some to spare;' that is, some from the whole. It may be rendered out of.
'Of all our heroes thou canst boast alone;' that is, thou alone from the number of heroes. This may be rendered among.
'The best of men, the most renowned of all;' that is, the best from the number of men, the most renowned from the whole; denoting primarily separation, like part.
'I was well entertained of the English Consul;' that is, entertained from the Consul; my entertainment was from the Consul. This use is obsolete, and we use by in lieu of it.
'This does of right belong to us;' that is, from right, de jure; our title proceeds from right.
'The chariot was all of cedar;' that is, made from cedar. So we say, made of gold, made of clay; an application corresponding with our modern use of from; manufactured from wool, or from raw materials. Hence we say, cloth consisting of wool. 'This is a scheme of his own devising;' that is, from his own devising or device. 'If any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth;' that is, as from the ability, as the source of action.
'Of happy, he is become miserable;' that is, from happy; from being happy, he has passed to being miserable. 'Of necessity this must prove ruinous;' that is, from necessity, as the cause or source. 'Of a hundred take fifty;' that is, from a hundred, or out of a hundred, from among a hundred.
Of sometimes implies a part or share.
It is a duty to communicate of those blessings we have received.
From is then the primary sense of this preposition; a sense retained in off, the same word differently written for distinction. But this sense is appropriately lost in many of its applications; as a man of genius, a man of courage, a man of rare endowments, a fossil of a red color, or of a hexagonal figure. he lost all hope of relief. This is an affair of the cabinet. He is a man of decayed fortune. What is the price of corn? We say that of, in these and similar phrases, denotes property or possession, making of the sign of the genitive or possessive case. These applications, however, all proceeded from the same primary sense. That which proceeds from or is produced by a person, is naturally the property or possession of that person, as the son of John; and this idea of property in the course of time would pass to things not thus produced, but still bearing a relation to another thing. Thus we say, the father of a son, as well as the son of a father. In both senses, other languages also use the same word, as in the French de, de la, and Italian di, dell. Of then has one primary sense, from, departing, issuing, proceeding from or out of, and a derivative sense denoting possession or property.

Definition 2021


of

of

See also: OF, of-, Of-, OF., óf, òf, and ôf

English

Alternative forms

Preposition

of

  1. Expressing direction.
    1. (now obsolete or dialectal) From (of distance, direction), "off". [from the 9th c.]
      • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, chapter x, in Le Morte Darthur, book XIII:
        Sir said Galahad by this shelde ben many merueils fallen / Sir sayd the knyght hit befelle after the passion of our lord Ihesu Crist xxxij yere that Ioseph of Armathye the gentyl knyghte / the whiche took doune oure lord of the hooly Crosse att that tyme he departed from Iherusalem with a grete party of his kynred with hym
      • 1621, Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, II.5.3.ii:
        Against headache, vertigo, vapours which ascend forth of the stomach to molest the head, read Hercules de Saxonia and others.
    2. (obsolete except in phrases) Since, from (a given time, earlier state etc.). [from the 9th c.]
      • 1526, William Tyndale, trans. Bible, Mark IX:
        And he axed his father: howe longe is it agoo, sens this hath happened hym? And he sayde, of a chylde.
      • 1616, William Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona, IV.4:
        one that I brought vp of a puppy [] I was sent to deliuer him, as a present to Mistris Siluia, from my Master.
      • 2010 July 29, Simon Tisdall, The Guardian:
        Obama has been obliged to make nice of late in hope of rescuing the moribund two-state process and preventing resumed West Bank settlement building.
    3. From, away from (a position, number, distance etc.). [from the 10th c.]
      • 1932 September 30, Time:
        Though Washington does not offically recognize Moscow, the Hoover Administration permits a Soviet Russian Information Bureau to flourish in a modest red brick house on Massachusetts Avenue, within a mile of the White House.
      • 2010 November 7, The Guardian:
        There are now upwards of 1.4 million 99ers in America facing a life with no benefits and few prospects for finding a job in a market in which companies are still not hiring.
    4. (Canada, US, Scotland, Ireland) Before (the hour); to. [from the 19th c.]
      • 1940 June 17, "Little Bull Booed", Time:
        "Fellow Democrats," he began, "I left Washington at a quarter of two this morning []."
      • 1982, TC Boyle, Water Music, Penguin, 2006, page 194:
        Quarter of seven. Fifteen minutes to go.
  2. Expressing separation.
    1. Indicating removal, absence or separation, with the action indicated by a transitive verb and the quality or substance by a grammatical object. [from the 10th c.]
      • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, chapter xviij, in Le Morte Darthur, book XIII:
        And ther with on his handes and on his knees he wente soo nyghe that he touched the holy vessel / and kyste hit / and anone he was hole / and thenne he sayd lord god I thanke the / for I am helyd of this sekenesse
      • 1603, John Florio, translating Michel de Montaigne, Essayes, London: Edward Blount, OCLC 946730821, II.1:
        Antigonus [took] upon him to favour a souldier of his by reason of his vertue and valour, to have great care of him, and see whether they could recover him of a lingering and inward disease which had long tormented him [].
      • 1816 February 20, Jane Austen, Letter:
        I am almost entirely cured of my rheumatismjust a little pain in my knee now and then, to make me remember what it was, and keep on flannel.
      • 1951, Time, 3 September:
        In Houston, ten minutes after the Lindquist Finance Corp. was robbed of $447, Office Manager Howard Willson got a phone call from the thief who complained: "You didn't have enough money over there."
    2. Indicating removal, absence or separation, with resulting state indicated by an adjective. [from the 10th c.]
      • 1731 August 28, Jonathan Swift, Letter:
        But schemes are perfectly accidental: some will appear barren of hints and matter, but prove to be fruitful [].
      • 2010 October 31, Stuart James, The Guardian:
        Yet for long spells Villa looked laboured and devoid of ideas.
    3. (obsolete) Indicating removal, absence or separation, construed with an intransitive verb. [14th-19th c.]
      • 1822, Jacob Bailey Moore, New Hampshire, volume 1, page 5:
        He was kindly treated by the people at Saco, and recovered of his wounds.
  3. Expressing origin.
    1. Indicating an ancestral source or origin of descent. [from the 9th c.]
      • 1526, William Tyndale, trans. Bible, Acts II:
        They wondred all, and marveylled sayinge amonge themselves: Loke, are not all these which speake off galile? And howe heare we every man his awne tongue wherein we were boren?
      • 1954, The Rotarian, volume 85:6:
        My father was born of a family of weavers in Manchester, England.
      • 2010, "The Cost of Repair", The Economist:
        Nothing may come of these ideas, yet their potential should not be dismissed.
    2. Indicating a (non-physical) source of action or emotion; introducing a cause, instigation; from, out of, as an expression of. [from the 9th c.]
      • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, chapter xix, in Le Morte Darthur, book X}:
        Faire knyght said Palomydes me semeth we haue assayed eyther other passyng sore / and yf hit may please the / I requyre the of thy knyghthode telle me thy name / Sir said the knyȝt to Palomydes / that is me loth to doo / for thou hast done me wronge.
      • 1803, John Smalley, Sermons:
        Undoubtedly it is to be understood, that inflicting deserved punishment on all evil doers, of right, belongs to God.
      • 2008 December 3, Rowenna Davis, The Guardian:
        The woman who danced for me said she was there of her own free will, but when I pushed a bit further, I discovered that she "owed a man a lot of money", and had to pay it back quickly.
    3. Following an intransitive verb: indicating the source or cause of the verb. [from the 10th c.]
      • 2006, Joyce Carol Oates, The Female of the Species:
        He smelled of beer and cigarette smoke and his own body.
      • 2010 October 5, Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi, The Guardian:
        Two men, one from Somalia and one from Zimbabwe, died of terminal illnesses shortly after their incarceration ended.
    4. Following an adjective. [from the 13th c.]
      • 2010 September 23, Bagehot, The Economist:
        Lib Dems were appalled by Mr Boles’s offer, however kindly meant: the party is so frightened of losing its independence under Mr Clegg that such a pact would “kill” him, says a senior member.
  4. Expressing agency.
    1. Following a passive verb to indicate the agent (for most verbs, now usually expressed with by). [from the 9th c.]
      • 1526, William Tyndale, trans. Bible, Acts IX:
        After a good while, the iewes toke cousell amonge themselves to kyll him. But their layinges awayte wer knowen of Saul.
      • 1603, John Florio, translating Michel de Montaigne, Essayes, London: Edward Blount, OCLC 946730821, II.1:
        she might appeare to be the lively patterne of another Lucrece, yet know I certainly that, both before that time and afterward, she had beene enjoyed of others upon easier composition.
      • 1995, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, The Family: A Proclamation to the World:
        The family is ordained of God.
      • 2008 March 27, "Selling rhythm to the world", The Economist:
        Colombia and Venezuela share an elegantly restrained style, with much back-stepping, smaller hand-movements and little use of the elaborate, arm-tangling moves beloved of Cuban dancers.
    2. Used to introduce the "subjective genitive"; following a noun to form the head of a postmodifying noun phrase. [from the 13th c.]
      • 1994, Paul Coates, Film at the Intersection of High and Mass Culture, page 136:
        In Blood and Sand, meanwhile, Valentino repeatedly solicits the attention of women who have turned away from him.
      • 2009 December 28, "Head to head", The Economist:
        Somehow Croatia has escaped the opprobrium of the likes of the German Christian Democrats and others that are against any rapid enlargement of the European Union to the include rest of the western Balkans.
    3. Following an adjective, used to indicate the agent of something described by the adjective. [from the 16th c.]
      • 1815, Jane Austen, Emma:
        When this was over, Mr. Woodhouse gratefully observed,"It is very kind of you, Mr. Knightley, to come out at this late hour to call upon us."
      • 2007 January 10, Dorian Lynskey, The Guardian:
        Morrissey's spokesperson says he is considering the offer. It would perhaps be rude of him to decline.
  5. Expressing composition, substance.
    1. After a verb expressing construction, making etc., used to indicate the material or substance used. [from the 9th c.]
      • 1846, Herman Melville, Typee:
        The mallet is made of a hard heavy wood resembling ebony, is about twelve inches in length, and perhaps two in breadth, with a rounded handle at one end [].
    2. Directly following a noun, used to indicate the material from which it is made. [from the 10th c.]
      • 2010 January 23, Simon Mawer, The Guardian:
        Perhaps symbolically, Van Doesburg was building a house of straw: he died within a few months of completion, not in Meudon but in Davos, of a heart attack following a bout of asthma.
    3. Indicating the composition of a given collective or quantitative noun. [from the 12th c.]
      • 1853, William Makepeace Thackeray, Barry Lyndon:
        His papers at this period contain a mass of very unedifying and uninteresting documents [].
      • 2010 October 31, Polly Vernon, The Guardian:
        I'd expected to be confronted by oodles of barely suppressed tension and leather-clad, pouty-mouthed, large-haired sexiness; the visual shorthand of rock gods in general, and Jon Bon Jovi in particular.
    4. Used to link a given class of things with a specific example of that class. [from the 12th c.]
      • 1719, Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe:
        This having the rainy month of March and April to water it, sprung up very pleasantly, and yielded a very good crop [].
      • 2010 October 30, Maya Jaggi, The Guardian:
        In his studio in the Behlendorf woods, near the Baltic city of Lübeck, Günter Grass reflects on the outcry over his fictive memoir Peeling the Onion.
    5. Linking two nouns in near-apposition, with the first qualifying the second; "which is also". [from the 14th c.]
      • 1911, Katherine Mansfield, In a German Pension:
        As he swallowed the soup his heart warmed to this fool of a girl.
      • 2010 August 22, Sean O'Hagan, The Guardian:
        "I'm having a bitch of a day," he says, after ordering a restorative pint of Guinness and flopping down in a seat by the front window.
  6. Introducing subject matter.
    1. Linking an intransitive verb, or a transitive verb and its subject (especially verbs to do with thinking, feeling, expressing etc.), with its subject-matter: concerning, with regard to. [from the 10th c.]
      • 1815, Jane Austen, Emma:
        he spoke of his uncle with warm regard, was fond of talking of him [].
      • 1871–72, George Eliot, Middlemarch, Chapter 3:
        "You must not judge of Celia's feeling from mine. I think she likes these small pets."
      • 2010 October 19, Rebecca Seal, The Guardian:
        while producing Cook, which includes more than 250 seasonal recipes by 80 different chefs, we washed up more than 500 times (oh, how I dreamed of dishwashers).
    2. Following a noun (now chiefly nouns of knowledge, communication etc.), to introduce its subject matter; about, concerning. [from the 12th c.]
      • 1859, Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
      • 2010 October 21, The Economist:
        Recession and rising unemployment have put paid to most thoughts of further EU enlargement.
    3. Following an adjective, to introduce its subject matter. [from the 15th c.]
      • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby-Dick:
        The same secludedness and isolation to which the schoolmaster whale betakes himself in his advancing years, is true of all aged Sperm Whales.
  7. Having partitive effect.
    1. Following a number or other quantitive word: introducing the whole for which is indicated only the specified part or segment; "from among". [from the 9th c.]
      • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, chapter lviij, in Le Morte Darthur, book X:
        But as for me said sire Gareth I medle not of their maters therfore there is none of them that loueth me / And for I vnderstande they be murtherers of good knyghtes I lefte theyre company
      • 1789, Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, volume 6:
        The dead bodies of the Koreish were despoiled and insulted; two of the most obnoxious prisoners were punished with death [].
      • 2010 November 10, Michael Wood, The Guardian:
        Many of the civilisational achievements of Mesopotamia are the product of that symbiosis.
    2. Following a noun indicating a given part. [from the 9th c.]
      • 2005, Naomi Wolf, The Treehouse, page 58:
        everyone, even the ladies of the village, called the dish tzigayner shmeklekh, or “gypsies' penises.”
      • 2006, Norman Mailer, The Big Empty:
        That, I think, is the buried core of the outrage people feel most generally.
    3. (now archaic, literary) With preceding partitive word assumed, or as a predicate after to be: some, an amount of, one of. [from the 9th c.]
      • 1526, William Tyndale, trans. Bible, Matthew XXV:
        And the folysshe sayde to the wyse: geve us of youre oyle, for oure lampes goo out?
      • 1819, John Keats, "Ode to a Nightingale":
        My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains / My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk [].
      • 1846, James Fenimore Cooper, The Redskins:
        Dunning, however, is of the old school, and does not like new faces; so he will have no Irishman at his door [].
    4. Linking to a genitive noun or possessive pronoun, with partitive effect (though now often merged with possessive senses, below). [from the 13th c.]
      • 1893, Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance, IV:
        He is just what I should have liked a son of mine to be.
      • 2010 August 27, Michael Tomasky, The Guardian:
        In its flattering way, the press tried to invest this habit of Bush's with the sense that it was indicative of a particularly sharp wit.
  8. Expressing possession.
    1. Belonging to, existing in, or taking place in a given location, place or time. Compare "origin" senses, above. [from the 9th c.]
      • 1774, Edward Long, The History of Jamaica. Or, General Survey of the Antient and Modern State of that Island, volume 2, book 2, chapter 7, 5:
        The building was erected in two years, at the parochial expence, on the foundation of the former one, which was irreparably damaged by the hurricane of Auguſt, 1712.
      • 1908, EF Benson, The Blotting Book:
        Thus, as he dressed, the thoughts and the rage of yesterday began to stir and move in his mind again.
      • 2003 August 20, Julian Borger, The Guardian:
        Within ten seconds, the citizens of New York, Cleveland, Detroit and Toronto were being given first-hand experience of what it was like to live in the nineteenth century.
    2. Belonging to (a place) through having title, ownership or control over it. [from the 9th c.]
      • 1977 October 28, The Guardian:
        In a much-anticipated radio broadcast the Duke of Edinburgh said last night that Britain will be a grim place in the year 2000 [].
      • 2001, Dictionary of National Biography, 2001, page 27:
        The third son, William John (1826-1902), was headmaster of the Boys' British School, Hitchin [].
    3. Belonging to (someone or something) as something they possess or have as a characteristic; the "possessive genitive". (With abstract nouns, this intersects with the subjective genitive, above under "agency" senses.) [from the 13th c.]
      • 1933, Havelock Ellis, Psychology of Sex, volume 4:
        The breasts of young girls sometimes become tender at puberty in sympathy with the evolution of the sexual organs [].
      • 2010 October 29, Marina Hyde, The Guardian:
        It amounts to knocking on the door of No 10 then running away.
  9. Forming the "objective genitive".
    1. Following an agent noun, verbal noun or noun of action. [from the 12th c.]
      • 1611, Bible, Authorized Version, Matthew IV:
        And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
      • 2000, Sheila Ruth, Issues in Feminism:
        Antifeminism has been a credible cover and an effective vehicle because the hatred of women is not politically anathema on either the Right or the Left.
  10. Expressing qualities or characteristics.
    1. (now archaic or literary) Linking an adjective with a noun or noun phrase to form a quasi-adverbial qualifier; in respect of, as regards. [from the 13th c.]
      • 1917, Zane Gray, Wildfire, page 35:
        He was huge, raw-boned, knotty, long of body and long of leg, with the head of a war charger.
      • 2004 August 11, Sean Ingle, The Guardian:
        Still nimble of mind and fleet of foot, Morris buzzed here and there, linking well and getting stuck in at every opportunity.
    2. Indicating a quality or characteristic; "characterized by". [from the 13th c.]
      • 1891, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Boscombe Valley Mystery:
        His frank acceptance of the situation marks him as either an innocent man, or else as a man of considerable self-restraint and firmness.
      • 1951, Jacob Bronowski, The Common Sense of Science:
        No other man has made so deep a mark on his time and on our world unless he has been a man of action, a Cromwell or a Napoleon.
    3. Indicating quantity, age, price etc. [from the 13th c.]
      • 1903, Frank Norris, The Pit, Doubleday 1924, page 4:
        She was a tall young girl of about twenty-two or three, holding herself erect and with fine dignity.
      • 2006, Serway & Jewett, Principles of Physics, page 428:
        A police car, traveling southbound at a speed of 40.0 m/s, approaches with its siren producing sound at a frequency of 2 500 Hz.
  11. Expressing a point in time.
    1. (chiefly regional) During the course of (a set period of time, day of the week etc.), now specifically with implied repetition or regularity. [from the 9th c.]
      • Charles Dickens:
        For, sometimes of an afternoon when Miss Pupford has been reading the paper through her little gold eye-glass [] she has become agitated [].
      • 1897, Henry James, What Maisie Knew:
        If there was a type Ida despised, Sir Claude communicated to Maisie, it was the man who pottered about town of a Sunday [].
    2. (Britain dialectal) For (a given length of time), chiefly in negative constructions. [from the 13th c.]
      I've not tekken her out of a goodly long while.
    3. Used after a noun to indicate duration of a state, activity etc. [from the 18th c.]
      • 2011 March 2, Grant McCabe, The Sun:
        The cab driver's claim he was sleepwalking during the attack has already been supported by his wife of 37 years.

Usage notes

  • (belonging to or associated with): When applied to a person or persons, the possessive is generally used instead.
  • (containing, comprising, or made from): Of may be used directly with a verb or adjectival phrase.
  • When modifying a noun, modern English increasingly uses noun adjuncts rather than of. Examples include part of speech (16th century) vs. word class (20th century), Federal Bureau of Investigation (1908) vs. Central Intelligence Agency (1947), and affairs of the world (18th century) vs. world affairs (20th century).

Derived terms

Translations

Verb

of

  1. (usually in modal perfect constructions) Representing have or 've, chiefly in depictions of colloquial speech.
    • 1926, F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Penguin 2000, page 33:
      "I had a woman up here last week to look at my feet, and when she have been the bill you'd of thought she had my appendicitus out."
    • 1943, Raymond Chandler, The High Window, Penguin 2005, page 87:
      ‘You must of left your door unlocked. Or even open.’
    • 1992, Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash, Bantam Spectra, page 340:
      "You couldn't of known," Livio says.

See also

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: the · #2: of · and · to · in

Anagrams


Afrikaans

Etymology

From Dutch of.

Conjunction

of

  1. or
  2. whether; if

Dutch

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ɔf/
  • Rhymes: -ɔf

Conjunction

of

  1. (coordinating) or
    Wil je thee, of heb je liever koffie?
    Do you want tea, or would you prefer coffee?
  2. (subordinating) whether, if
    Ik weet niet of dat wel zo'n goed idee is.
    I don't know if that's such a good idea.
  3. (of ... of) either ... or
    Je kan kiezen: of je bent stil, of je vertrekt.
    You can choose: either you stay quiet, or you get out.
  4. (of ... of dat) whether ... or
    Ik weet niet of ik moet vertrekken of dat ik het haar moet uitleggen.
    I don't know whether I should leave or I should explain it to her.

Derived terms


German Low German

Etymology

From Middle Low German af, from Old Saxon af, from Proto-Germanic *ab. More at off.

Preposition

of

  1. from

Adverb

of

  1. away; from
  2. off

Adjective

of

  1. off (not "on")

Icelandic

Etymology

From Old Norse, from Proto-Germanic *uber. The original full form is seen in the prefixed form ofur- (overly, super, very). Related to yfir (above) and ofan (from above).

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ɔːv/
  • Rhymes: -ɔːv

Adverb

of

  1. too (to an excessive degree)
    Ég er of falleg.
    I am too beautiful. (referring to a woman)
    Ég er of fallegur.
    I am too beautiful. (referring to a man)

Old English

Etymology

Unstressed form of æf.

Preposition

of

  1. of, from, off, out of

Old Saxon

Etymology

Unstressed form of af.

Preposition

of

  1. above
  2. away from

Volapük

Pronoun

of (plural ofs)

  1. she (third-person feminine)

Declension


Welsh

Noun

of

  1. Soft mutation of gof.

West Frisian

Conjunction

of

  1. or