abreast

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /əˈbɹɛst/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛst
  • Hyphenation: abreast

Adverb[edit]

abreast (not comparable)

  1. Side by side and 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. Followed by of or with: up to a certain level or line; equally advanced. [First attested in the mid 17th century.][2]
    She believes it is important to keep abreast of new scientific developments.
  5. (nautical) Side by side; also, opposite; on a line with the vessel's beam. [First attested in the late 17th century.][2]
  6. (obsolete) At the same time; simultaneously.
    • 1842, Thomas Fuller, The Church History of Britain, From the birth of Jesus Christ until the year MDCXLVIII., volume 1, Third edition, page 412:
      Abreast therewith began a convocation.

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]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Adjective[edit]

abreast (not comparable)

  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[First attested in the mid 17th century.][2]
    to keep abreast of [or with] the present state of science.
    • c. 1900, Kate Chopin, A Reflection
      Some people are born with a vital and responsive energy. It not only enables them to keep abreast of the times; it qualifies them to furnish in their own personality a good bit of the motive power to the mad pace.
  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, 2001–2019.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 “abreast” in Lesley Brown, editor, The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 8.
  3. ^ Philip Babcock Gove (editor), Webster's Third International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (G. & C. Merriam Co., 1976 [1909], →ISBN), page 5

Anagrams[edit]