Last modified on 11 September 2014, at 17:08

above

EnglishEdit

PronunciationEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English above (above), aboven, abuven, from Old English ābufan, onbufan from a (on) + bufan (over), (akin to Icelandic ofan (above), Middle Dutch bōven, Old Frisian bova, Middle High German bobene) from (by) + ufan (over); also cognate with Danish oven, Dutch boven, German oben, Swedish ovan, Old Saxon oƀan, Old High German obana.

The preposition, adjective and the noun derive from the adverb.

PrepositionEdit

above

  1. (physical) Higher.
    1. Physically over; on top of; worn on top of, as clothing. [First attested prior to 1150.][1]
      He always put his coat on above his sweater.
    2. In or to a higher place; higher than; on or over the upper surface; — opposed to below or beneath. [First attested prior to 1150.][1]
      • (Can we date this quote?) Translation of Genesis 2:20,
        Fowl that may fly above the earth.
      • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 5, The Celebrity:
        Then came a maid with hand-bag and shawls, and after her a tall young lady. She stood for a moment holding her skirt above the grimy steps, [] , and the light of the reflector fell full upon her.
      • 2013 May-June, William E. Conner, “An Acoustic Arms Race”, American Scientist, volume 101, number 3, page 206-7: 
        Earless ghost swift moths become “invisible” to echolocating bats by forming mating clusters close (less than half a meter) above vegetation and effectively blending into the clutter of echoes that the bat receives from the leaves and stems around them.
    3. (representational) Farther north than. [First attested prior to 1150.][1]
      Idaho is above Utah.
    4. Rising; appearing out of reach height-wise. [First attested around (1150 to 1350.)][1]
  2. (social) Superior.
    1. Figuratively, higher than; superior to in any respect; surpassing; higher in measure, degree, volume, or pitch, etc. than; out of reach; not exposed to; not likely to be affected by; incapable of negative actions or thoughts. [First attested around (1150 to 1350.)][1]
      Even the chief of police is not above suspicion.
      He was aways above reproach.
      • (Can we date this quote?) Marlowe,
        Thy worth [] is actions above my gifts.
      • (Can we date this quote?) translation of Acts 36:13,
        I saw in the way a light from heaven above the brightness of the sun.
    2. Higher in rank, status, or position. [First attested around (1150 to 1350.)][1]
    3. In preference to.
    4. Too proud to stoop; averse to; disinclined; too honorable to give.
      The owner was above taking more than a token salary.
  3. In addition to; besides. [First attested around (1150 to 1350.)][1]
  4. Surpassing in number or quantity; more than; as, above a hundred. [First attested around (1350 to 1470.)][1]
    • 1959, Georgette Heyer, chapter 1, The Unknown Ajax:
      Charles had not been employed above six months at Darracott Place, but he was not such a whopstraw as to make the least noise in the performance of his duties when his lordship was out of humour.
  5. (theater) Upstage.
  6. Beyond; on the other side.

Usage notesEdit

  • (surpassing in number or quantity): Passing into the adverbial sense.

TranslationsEdit

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 Help:How to check translations.

Derived termsEdit

AdverbEdit

above (not comparable)

  1. Directly overhead; vertically on top of. [First attested prior to 1150.][1]
    • 2013 May 11, “The climate of Tibet: Pole-land”, The Economist, volume 407, number 8835, page 80: 
      Of all the transitions brought about on the Earth’s surface by temperature change, the melting of ice into water is the starkest. It is binary. And for the land beneath, the air above and the life around, it changes everything.
  2. Higher in the same page; earlier in the order as far as writing products go. [First attested prior to 1150.][1]
    • (Can we date this quote?) Dryden
      That was said above.
  3. Into or from heaven; in the sky. [First attested around (1150 to 1350.)][1]
    He's in a better place now, floating free as the clouds above.
  4. In a higher place; upstairs; farther upstream. [First attested around (1150 to 1350.)][1]
  5. Higher in rank, power, or position. [First attested around (1150 to 1350.)][1]
    He appealed to the court above.
  6. (archaic) In addition. [First attested around (1150 to 1350.)][1]
  7. More in number. [First attested around (1350 to 1470.)][1]
  8. Above zero; above freezing. [First attested in the mid 20th century.][1]
    It was a cold day at only 5 above.
  9. (biology) On the upper half or the dorsal surface of an animal.
    The sparrow I saw was rufous above and off-white below.

Derived termsEdit

  • "Above" is also used as the first part of a compound in the sense of before, previously; as, above-cited, above-described, above-mentioned, above-named, above-said, above-specified, above-written, above-given.

TranslationsEdit

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 Help:How to check translations.

AdjectiveEdit

above (not comparable)

  1. Of heaven; heavenly. [First attested around (1150 to 1350).][1]
  2. Being located higher on the same page or on a preceding page. [First attested in the mid 18th century.][1]

Usage notesEdit

  • Above is often used elliptically as an adjective by omitting the word said, mentioned, quoted, or the like:
    • the above(-said) observations
    • the above(-cited) reference
    • the above(-quoted) articles

TranslationsEdit

NounEdit

above (uncountable)

  1. Heaven. [First attested around (1150 to 1350).][1]
  2. Something, especially a person's name in legal documents, that appears higher on the same page or on a preceding page.
  3. Higher authority.

Usage notesEdit

  1. Above is often used further elliptically as a noun by omitting the noun, where it is should be clear what is omitted.
    See the above.

Related termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  • Andrea Tyler and Vyvyan Evans, "The vertical axis", in The Semantics of English Prepositions: Spatial Scenes, Embodied Meaning and Cognition, Cambridge University Press, 2003, 0-521-81430 8
  • Laurence Urdang (editor), The Random House College Dictionary (Random House, 1984 [1975], ISBN 0-394-43600-8), page 4
  • Elliott K. Dobbie, C. William Dunmore, Robert K. Barnhart, et al. (editors), Chambers Dictionary of Etymology (Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, 2004 [1998], ISBN 0550142304), page 4
  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 2003 [1933], Brown, Lesley editor, The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, edition 5th, Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-860575-7, page 7:

StatisticsEdit