English Edit

Alternative forms Edit

Etymology Edit

From Middle English withoute, withouten, from Old English wiþūtan (literally against the outside of); equivalent to with- +‎ out. Compare Dutch buiten (outside of, without), Danish uden (without), Swedish utan (without), Norwegian uten (without).

Pronunciation Edit

  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /wɪθˈaʊt/, /wɪðˈaʊt/
  • (Canada) IPA(key): [wɪθˈɐʊt], [wɪðˈɐʊt]
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aʊt
  • Hyphenation: with‧out

Adverb Edit

without (not comparable)

  1. (archaic or literary) Outside, externally. This is still used in the names of some civil parishes in England, e.g. St Cuthbert Without.
    • c. 1606 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Macbeth”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, (please specify the act number in uppercase Roman numerals, and the scene number in lowercase Roman numerals):
      Macbeth: There's blood upon your face
      Murderer: 'tis Banquo's then
      Macbeth: 'tis better thee without then he within.
    • 1891, Thomas Hardy, Tess of the d'Urbervilles, volume 1, London: James R. Osgood, McIlvaine and Co., page 18:
      And as each and all of them were warmed without by the sun, so each had a private little sun for her soul to bask in; some dream, some affection, some hobby, at least some remote and distant hope which, though perhaps starving to nothing, still lived on, as hopes will.
    • 1900, Ernest Dowson, Benedictio Domini, lines 13–14:
      Strange silence here: without, the sounding street
      Heralds the world's swift passage to the fire
    • 1904, Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez, Norton, published 2005, page 1100:
      I knew that someone had entered the house cautiously from without.
    • 2016, Liu Cixin, translated by Ken Liu, Death's End, Tor, translation of 死神永生, →ISBN, page 236:
      The feeling seemed to come not from without, but from within each body, as though every person had become a vibrating string.
    • 2019 December 8, Supergirl (TV series), season 5, episode 8, "Crisis on Infinite Earths":
      Brainiac: This earthquake is quite literally worldwide.
      Alex Danvers: But the seismic activity [isn't] coming from within the planet, it's coming from without.
  2. Lacking something.
    Being from a large, poor family, he learned to live without.
    • 2022 September 11, Scott McDonald, quoting President Volodymyr Zelensky, “Cold, Hunger and Darkness in Ukraine 'Not as Terrible' as Russia: Zelensky”, in Newsweek[1], archived from the original on 12 September 2022[2]:
      "Read lips: Without gas or without you? Without you. Without light or without you? Without you. Without water or without you? Without you. Without food or without you? Without you.
      "Cold, hunger, darkness and thirst are not as terrible and deadly for us as your "friendship and brotherhood."
  3. (euphemistic) In prostitution: without a condom being worn.
    • 2012, Maxim Jakubowski, The Best British Crime Omnibus:
      “What's within reason?” “Hand-job, blow-job, full sex — straight, full service. Greek, maybe, if you're not too big. Golden shower, if you like, but not reverse. No hardsports. And absolutely nothing without.”

Derived terms Edit

Preposition Edit


  1. (archaic or literary) Outside of, beyond.
    Antonym: within
    • 1697, Virgil, “The Seventh Book of the Æneis”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], →OCLC:
      Without the gate / Some drive the cars, and some the coursers rein.
    • c. 1689, Thomas Burnet, The Sacred Theory of the Earth:
      Eternity, before the world and after, is without our reach.
    • 1835, William Beckford, Italy: With Sketches of Spain and Portugal, volume 1, page 13:
      [] though it was pitch-dark, and we were obliged to be escorted by grooms and groomlings with candles and lanterns; a very necessary precaution, as the winds blew not more violently without the house than within.
  2. Not having, containing, characteristic of, etc.
    Antonym: with
    It was a mistake to leave my house without a coat.
  3. Not doing or not having done something.
    He likes to eat everything without sharing.
    He shot without warning anyone.
    • 1883, Howard Pyle, chapter V, in The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood [], New York, N.Y.: [] Charles Scribner’s Sons [], →OCLC:
      But in the meantime Robin Hood and his band lived quietly in Sherwood Forest, without showing their faces abroad, for Robin knew that it would not be wise for him to be seen in the neighborhood of Nottingham, those in authority being very wroth with him.
    • 1892, Walter Besant, “Prologue: Who is Edmund Gray?”, in The Ivory Gate [], New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, [], →OCLC, page 16:
      Athelstan Arundel walked home [], foaming and raging. [] He walked the whole way, walking through crowds, and under the noses of dray-horses, carriage-horses, and cart-horses, without taking the least notice of them.

Synonyms Edit

Antonyms Edit

Derived terms Edit

Translations Edit

Conjunction Edit


  1. (archaic or dialectal) Unless, except (introducing a clause).

Anagrams Edit