Open main menu

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

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”.

PronunciationEdit

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

AdverbEdit

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 notesEdit

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

SynonymsEdit

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 Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

AdjectiveEdit

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]

PrepositionEdit

abreast

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

ReferencesEdit

  • abreast at OneLook Dictionary Search
  • abreast in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
  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-in-chief; William R. Trumble and Angus Stevenson, editors, The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles, 5th edition, Oxford; New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, 2002, →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

AnagramsEdit