abreast

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English a (on) + brest (breast), in sense “breasts (chests) in line, side-by-side and exactly equally advanced”;[1] roughly “breast-by-breast”.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adverb[edit]

abreast (comparative more abreast, superlative most abreast)

  1. Side by side, facing forward. [First attested from around (1350 to 1470.)][2]
  2. (figuratively) Alongside; parallel to. [First attested in the mid 17th century.][2]
  3. Informed, well-informed, familiar, acquainted. [First attested in the mid 17th century.][2]
  4. Up to a certain level or line; equally advanced; as, to keep abreast of [or with] the present state of science. [First attested in the mid 17th century.][2]
  5. (nautical) Side by side; also, opposite; over against; on a line with the vessel's beam. [First attested in the late 17th century.][2]
  6. (obsolete): At the same time; simultaneously

Usage notes[edit]

  • (nautical): Abreast is followed by the word of.
  • (alongside): Abreast is followed by with or of.
  • (informed): Abreast is followed by with or of.
  • (up to a certain level): Abreast is followed by with or of.

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

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Adjective[edit]

abreast (comparative more abreast, superlative most abreast)

  1. Side by side, facing forward. [First attested from around (1350 to 1470.)][2]
  2. (figuratively) Alongside; parallel to. [First attested in the mid 17th century.][2]
  3. Informed, well-informed, familiar, acquainted. [First attested in the mid 17th century.][2]
  4. Up to a certain level or line; equally advanced; as, to keep abreast of [or with] the present state of science. [First attested in the mid 17th century.][2]
  5. (nautical) Side by side; also, opposite; over against; on a line with the vessel's beam. [First attested in the late 17th century.][2]

Preposition[edit]

abreast

  1. Abreast of; alongside.[3]
    This ship sank abreast the island.

References[edit]

  1. ^ abreast” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Lesley Brown (editor), The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th edition (Oxford University Press, 2003 [1933], ISBN 978-0-19-860575-7), page 8
  3. ^ Philip Babcock Gove (editor), Webster's Third International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (G. & C. Merriam Co., 1976 [1909], ISBN 0-87779-101-5), page 5

Anagrams[edit]