English edit

Etymology edit

PIE word

The adverb is derived from Middle English withal, with-al, withalle (against, in opposition to; in association with, together with; by means of),[1] from with (against; close to, near; directly opposite to; in the company of, together with; on, upon; within; etc., preposition)[2] + al (total number in a group, all, everyone, everything).[3] The word displaced Old English mid ealle.[4]

The postposition is derived from the adverb.[1]

Pronunciation edit

Adverb edit

withal (not comparable)

  1. (chiefly archaic)
    1. Together with the rest; besides; in addition.
      Synonyms: as well, likewise, moreover
      • 1528, Thomas More, “A Dialogue Concernynge Heresyes & Matters of Religion []. Chapter XI.”, in Wyllyam Rastell [i.e., William Rastell], editor, The Workes of Sir Thomas More Knyght, [], London: [] Iohn Cawod, Iohn Waly, and Richarde Tottell, published April 1557, →OCLC, book III, page 224, column 1:
        [T]hey not onely damne [William] Tyndals tranſlacion [of the Bible], (wherein ther is good cauſe) but ouer that doe damne al other, and as though a ley manne wer no chritſen manne, wyll ſuffer no leye manne haue any at all. But whan they fynde any in his keping, they laye hereſye to hym therefore. And thereupon they burne vp the booke, and ſometime the good manne withall, []
      • 1564 February, Erasmus, “The Saiynges of Diogenes the Cynike”, in Nicolas Udall [i.e., Nicholas Udall], transl., Apophthegmes, that is to Saie, Prompte, Quicke, Wittie and Sentẽcious Saiynges, [], London: [] Ihon Kingston, →OCLC, book I, folio 36, recto, paragraph 112:
        Loue he ſaied to be the occupacion or buſineſſe of idle folkes, that had nothinge els to ſet them ſelues on werke withall.
      • 1595, Richard Barnfield, “Cynthia, with Certaine Sonnets and the Legend of Cassandra. Sonnet I.”, in Alexander B[alloch] Grosart, editor, The Complete Poems of Richard Barnfield. [], London: J[ohn] B[owyer] Nichols and Sons, [], published 1876, →OCLC, page 77:
        For why his beauty (my hearts thiefe) affirmeth, / Piercing no skin (the bodies fensiue wall) / And hauing leaue, and free consent withall, / Himselfe not guilty, whom loue guilty tearmeth, []
      • 1611, The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), London: [] Robert Barker, [], →OCLC, Acts 15:27, column 2:
        For it ſeemeth to me vnreaſonable, to ſend a priſoner, and not withall to ſignifie the crimes laid againſt him.
      • 1642, Tho[mas] Browne, “The Second Part”, in Religio Medici. [], 4th edition, London: [] E. Cotes for Andrew Crook [], published 1656, →OCLC, section 2, page 132:
        It is the common vvonder of all men hovv among ſo many millions of faces there ſhould be none alike: Novv contrary, I vvonder as much hovv there ſhould be any; he that ſhall conſider hovv many thouſand ſeverall vvords have beene careleſly and vvithout ſtudy compoſed out of 24 Letters; vvithall hovv many hundred lines there are to be dravvne in the fabricke of one man; ſhall eaſily finde that this variety is neceſſary: []
      • 1648, Robert Herrick, “How the Wall-flower Came First, and Why So Called.”, in Hesperides: Or, The Works both Humane & Divine [], London: [] John Williams, and Francis Eglesfield, and are to be sold by Tho[mas] Hunt, [], →OCLC; republished as Henry G. Clarke, editor, Hesperides, or Works both Human and Divine, volume I, London: H. G. Clarke and Co., [], 1844, →OCLC, page 19:
        Understand, this firstling [the wallflower] was / Once a brisk and bonny lass, / Who a sprightly Springall lov'd: / And to have it fully prov'd, / Up she got upon a wall, / Tempting down to slide withal; / But the silken twist untied, / So she fell; and bruis'd, she dy'd.
        The spelling has been modernized.
      • 1671, John Milton, “The Fourth Book”, in Paradise Regain’d. A Poem. In IV Books. To which is Added, Samson Agonistes, London: [] J. M[acock] for John Starkey [], →OCLC, page 85, lines 127–129:
        I ſhall, thou ſay'ſt, expel / A brutiſh monſter: vvhat if I vvithal / Expel a Devil vvho firſt made him ſuch?
      • 1681 July 7 (Gregorian calendar), Narcissus Luttrell, A Brief Historical Relation of State Affairs, from September 1678 to April 1714. [], volume I, Oxford, Oxfordshire: University Press, published 1857, →OCLC, page 103:
        [T]hat [address] to the lord mayor was to give his lordship and the common council thanks for their addresse lately presented to his majestie, [] and withall to give the thanks of the common hall to their late representatives in parliament: []
      • 1808 February 22, Walter Scott, “Canto First. The Castle.”, in Marmion; a Tale of Flodden Field, Edinburgh: [] J[ames] Ballantyne and Co. for Archibald Constable and Company, []; London: William Miller, and John Murray, →OCLC, stanza XXIX, page 50:
        Whenas the Palmer came in hall, / No lord, nor knight, was there more tall, / Or had a statelier step withal.
      • 1946 May–June, Charles E. Lee, “New Works for Wartime Traffic—2”, in The Railway Magazine, London: Tothill Press, →ISSN, →OCLC, page 180:
        The necessary "opening" through the branch line was arranged by the construction of a movable bridge of an unusual kind, but withall simple and free from expensive mechanism.
    2. All things considered; nevertheless.
      Synonyms: even so; see also Thesaurus:nevertheless
  2. (archaic or obsolete) Synonym of therewith (with this, that, or those)
    • a. 1530 (date written), John Skelton, “Here after Foloweth the Boke Entytuled Ware the Hauke”, in Alexander Dyce, editor, The Poetical Works of John Skelton: [], volume I, London: Thomas Rodd, [], published 1843, →OCLC, page 156, lines 23 and 27–28:
      Thys boke we haue deuysed, / [] / In hope that no man shall / Be myscontent withall.
    • 1535 October 14 (Gregorian calendar), Myles Coverdale, transl., Biblia: The Byble, [] (Coverdale Bible), [Cologne or Marburg: Eucharius Cervicornus and J. Soter?], →OCLC, 1 Macchabees iiij:[44–45], folios lxij, verso – lxiij, recto:
      And forſo much as the aulter of burnofferynges was vnhalowed, he [Judas Maccabeus] toke aduyſement, what he might do withall: ſo he thought it was beſt to deſtroye it (leſt it ſhulde happen to do them eny ſhame) for the heithen had defyled it, & therfore they beate it downe.
    • c. 1590–1591 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Two Gentlemen of Verona”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act II, scene vii], page 28, column 2:
      No matter vvho's diſpleas'd, vvhen you are gone: / I fear me he vvill ſcarce be pleas'd vvith all.
    • 1610–1611 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act III, scene i], page 11, column 2:
      So glad of this as they I cannot be, / VVho are ſurpriz'd vvith all; but my reioycing / At nothing can be more: []
    • a. 1664 (date written), Robert Sanderson, “The Preface to the Reader”, in XXXIV Sermons. [], 5th edition, London: [] [A. Clark] for A. Seil, and are to be sold by G. Sawbridge, [], published 1671, →OCLC:
      [T]he Papiſts, profeſſed Enemies of our Church and Religion, eſcaping in the mean vvhile Scot-free, ſeldome or never medled vvithal in any of their Sermons.
    • 1843 April, Thomas Carlyle, “Midas”, in Past and Present, American edition, Boston, Mass.: Charles C[offin] Little and James Brown, published 1843, →OCLC, book I (Proem), page 1:
      The condition of England, on which many pamphlets are now in the course of publication, and many thoughts unpublished are going on in every reflective head, is justly regarded as one of the most ominous, and withal one of the strangest, ever seen in this world.

Alternative forms edit

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

Preposition edit


  1. (archaic, Used postpositively, after the object, at the end of a clause or sentence): with.

Alternative forms edit

Translations edit

References edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 with-al, prep.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  2. ^ with, prep.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  3. ^ al, limiting adj. & n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  4. ^ withal, adv. and prep.”, in OED Online  , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2022; withal, adv. and prep.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.