abreast

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[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]

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

Adverb[edit]

abreast ‎(comparative more abreast, superlative most abreast)

  1. Side by side and facing forward. [First attested from around (1350 to 1470.)][2]
    • 2012 July 15, Richard Williams, “Tour de France 2012: Carpet tacks cannot force Bradley Wiggins off track”, in Guardian Unlimited[1]:
      On Sunday afternoon it was as dark as night, with barely room for two riders abreast on a gradient that touches 20%.
    • (Can we date this quote?), Thomas Babington Macaulay, (Please provide the title of the work):
      Two men could hardly walk abreast.
  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; 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.
    • (Can we date this quote?), Thomas Fuller, (Please provide the title of the work):
      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]

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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]