Definition of above in English:

above

preposition

  • 1In extended space over and not touching:

    ‘a display of fireworks above the town’
    ‘a cable runs above the duct’
    • ‘The Patriot's radar sends out electronic pulses that scan the air space above it.’
    • ‘Travel millions of miles to space above the remarkable contours of Venus and Mars.’
    • ‘He was able to wander freely in the roof space above the check-in area and other areas barred to the public.’
    • ‘In ascending from the first floor, you are aware of space above and below you.’
    • ‘In February 1968 the air above this space was crowded with comings and goings.’
    • ‘Rocks tumbled from an old castle above island's main town, Linaria, and smashed onto parked cars.’
    • ‘Fireworks lit the sky above them, Jonathan leaned back and Ava lay with her head on his stomach.’
    • ‘Some fireworks went off dramatically above me, and I wandered back to John's.’
    • ‘The space above the outstretched hand began to glow, shimmering in the darkness.’
    • ‘A false ceiling had been inserted and the space above it left unused.’
    • ‘Michael Alstad's videos reveal urban spaces that are above or below the passenger's sightlines.’
    • ‘More than 100 fireworks a minute were fired off, with bursts more than 1,000 ft above the town.’
    • ‘So up a wooden ladder into the crawl space above the church sanctuary, Billy Gaines went.’
    • ‘He saw it, with a shock, much closer than expected, in the air space above the valley floor.’
    • ‘Then he vanishes above the monkey bars, where there is a good six feet of free space above his head and begins stepping over them, graceful as a cat.’
    • ‘The only significant addition to security since then has been in clearing and monitoring the air space above Utah during the Games.’
    • ‘Nervously, I then checked the space above the rear passenger doors.’
    • ‘Then Briony became silent, staring angrily at the space above his left shoulder.’
    • ‘The event will snake through the city centre culminating with a fireworks display above Leeds Town Hall at midnight.’
    • ‘A spectacular firework display is being staged above Lancaster Castle on November 8.’
    1. 1.1 Extending upwards over:
      ‘she held her arms above her head’
      • ‘Vaughn sat back in his chair and stretched his arms above his head.’
      • ‘Jimmy Saville, in trademark shell suit, made his entrance through the audience like a boxer, arms above his head.’
      • ‘Keep in mind that abdominal muscle force increases as the arms are extended further above the head.’
      • ‘Remembering to keep your body straight, head erect, arms straight and to the sides or above the head, is really quite difficult.’
      • ‘My torso and legs were neatly tucked underneath a white bed sheet, while my arms were resting above it.’
      • ‘I waved my arms in the air above my head and nearly lost my voice while trying to sing along.’
      • ‘Grab the bar with a shoulder-width grip and extend your arms straight above your face.’
      • ‘He stretched his arms high above his head and began to walk to his bedroom.’
      • ‘She demonstrates a move, flowing gracefully into position with arms extended above her head.’
      • ‘Additional padding has been fitted each side of and above the driver's legs to minimize the risk of leg injury.’
      • ‘Sitting with my arm stretched up above my head is, and always has been, comfortable.’
      • ‘It helps to repeat the inspection with your arms stretched above your head and again with your hand pressed firmly on your hip.’
      • ‘They wasted no time in getting the crowd into action, pumping their fists, waving their arms, clapping above their heads.’
      • ‘Faon leaned back on the couch, yawning and stretching his arms above his head.’
      • ‘Akane was sitting on her knees, her arms outstretched above her head in a wake-up stretch.’
      • ‘Holding your left arm steady, raise your right arm above your head.’
      • ‘Inhale, lift your arms above you, and turn your left knee outward to open your hip.’
      • ‘Today he cannot raise his arms above his head because his shoulders were dislocated so many times.’
      • ‘He stretched his arms above his head and glanced at the clock on his bedside, it was eight o'clock.’
      • ‘Scott McNiven centred from the right to the back post where Brass lifted his arm above his head to push the ball into his own net.’
      over, higher than, higher up than, overlooking
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Higher than and to one side of; overlooking:
      ‘in the hills above the capital’
      ‘on the wall above the altar’
      • ‘I had been in a bad mood; then I saw this from the hills above Delphi.’
      • ‘It will see a scientific centre of excellence created at the museum, which stands on the former airfield on the hills above Wroughton.’
      • ‘We arrived at the hill above Camp One and spotted our three yellow tents below.’
      • ‘When Tiger was a boy, he snipped out an article in the Los Angeles Times on Nicklaus' achievements and pasted it on the wall above his bed.’
      • ‘It is still part of their capital and it too stands on a hill above the floodwaters.’
      • ‘In addition, above the altar in the side chapel, the church has placed a large painting by Mr Willson.’
      • ‘Crews have also been patrolling the hills above the Trans-Canada Highway, said McHale.’
      • ‘The two swayed from side to side above me, taller than ever.’
      • ‘On the hill above Adamstown, Steve Christian could be heard last week blasting breadfruit out of the tall trees with his shotgun.’
      • ‘She comes from a groovy village in the hills above Todmorden.’
      • ‘Lighting installed above or at both sides of the front door are good options.’
      • ‘Up the other side, above masses of jungle, rose a rocky, desolate mountain.’
      • ‘Looters hit a police station in Petionville, an upscale suburb in the hills above the capital.’
      • ‘The western wall, either side of and above the main entrance, is waiting.’
      • ‘Giant wind turbines could be sited on hills above Todmorden if plans by Coronation Power Ltd get the go-ahead.’
      • ‘Family mementos and photographs were carefully spaced along the mantelpiece above a gas fireplace.’
      • ‘Follow the path as it snakes its way along the shoulder of the hill high above the Gannel Burn, on the right side of the glen opposite Law Hill.’
      • ‘I got in the car and we drove back to the house on the hill above the store.’
      • ‘The six Roman heroes stand high up in the side arches, above the entablature that crowns the actual windows in the wall.’
      • ‘The reception hall is very bright thanks to glass panels above and to the side of the front door.’
      over, higher than, higher up than, overlooking
      View synonyms
  • 2At a higher level or layer than:

    ‘from his flat above the corner shop’
    ‘bruises above both eyes’
    • ‘At the rear of the building, there is a very significant fracture about 10 mm above the side door of the garage.’
    • ‘The temporal lobes of the brain lie at the sides of the head above the ears.’
    • ‘The office was above the street level, all of the windows miraculously kept intact.’
    • ‘The firm designed for a mix of street-level stores with five floors of living space above.’
    • ‘The paper gives most of the space above the fold to a five-column colour photo of a Lions Club wine tasting.’
    • ‘The Jewish lady in the flat above ours has her window open; she's listening to opera and so is everyone else.’
    • ‘More than a decade ago, I wrote a cover story that ran in the space right above here.’
    • ‘It was a tight dress that reached my ankles, it had slits up the side that reached just above my knee and the top of it was cut in a v neck.’
    • ‘There's a nest in the woodrose vine outside the drawing room window, just above my eye level.’
    • ‘For those who know, or have known, Dave Early, I was impressed to see his credit is on its own line, with space above and below.’
    • ‘Many of the restaurants provide accommodation as well as a delicious menu, be it a cosy space above a local pub or large, opulent guest rooms.’
    • ‘If the shrub is still too tall, cut back the stems to just above a strong side shoot.’
    • ‘Even the water for the condos above the commercial space is warmed with residual heat.’
    • ‘After all, the Pittodrie club finished last season in second bottom spot, with the Ayrshire side one place above them.’
    • ‘If the plant has not been pruned for a couple of years and still looks too big after this, the flowering stems can be trimmed back to just above a side shoot.’
    • ‘Both feet are covered in blood and there's a sizeable puddle smeared on my left side just above the hip.’
    • ‘In the grounds, there is also a stone studio or billiard room as well as stables with office space above.’
    • ‘Those already computed will be listed in the space just above the calculator.’
    • ‘The space above the domed entrance is open, with four sides of offices, making up four floors.’
    • ‘The Limerick side have a game in hand over Bective Rangers, one of three sides above them.’
    1. 2.1 Higher in grade or rank than:
      ‘at a level above the common people’
      • ‘I swiftly came to the conclusion that anything above a fail grade would be a triumph.’
      • ‘His research shows that two-thirds of policewomen above the rank of constable do not have children.’
      • ‘It seems that every layer of government above the level of municipal officialdom made no preparations for this at all.’
      • ‘But if the injuries clear, I expect Aberdeen to put pressure on the sides above them.’
      • ‘Many members just above the lowest grades are still on low pay and they have been offered nothing extra.’
      • ‘Ireland is ranked one place above South Africa in the IRB world rankings, in fifth place.’
      • ‘There is just one female lieutenant - colonel in the army and no women in any of the four ranks above that post.’
      • ‘He is now a senior whip and is ranked seven places above the finance spokesperson.’
      • ‘As they are two leagues above the local side it was, as it turned out, a fair and very entertaining game.’
      • ‘The demands placed on our rank by those above us are significant, to attend their meetings, to do their bidding.’
      • ‘Of course, Scotland is not a sovereign country in the same way as Estonia - which ranks just above us.’
      • ‘Kelvin Hall saw an eight per cent rise in the number of children who gained five GCSEs above grade C.’
      • ‘We can compete with sides above us, we've just got to make sure we get our game right.’
      • ‘Garda sources last night said only ranks above that of inspector would be issued with phones.’
      • ‘We have beaten better sides, sides above us in the table, but no victory has been more crucial than the one over the Broncos.’
      • ‘That score ranks the school above every other in Greater Manchester and as the 14th highest in the country.’
      • ‘We are once again taking on a side from the division above us so we have a point to prove.’
      • ‘We have no bowlers capable of beating any of the teams ranked above us.’
      • ‘We work together on a couple of projects and I rank above her, but I am not her boss.’
      • ‘And the narrow victory lifted Wibsey above the east Leeds side into the second promotion position.’
      • ‘His rank and station have not been released by police, but it is understood he is of, or above, senior sergeant rank.’
      superior to, senior to, over, higher than, higher up than, more powerful than, more responsible than, ahead of
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2 Considered of higher status or worth than; too good for:
      ‘she married above her’
      • ‘Demonstrations of greatness ultimately rank above close finishes or spectacular upsets.’
      • ‘To inherit dominant status a subordinate must outlive all those above her in the queue.’
      • ‘Pilots had some control over their fate, which gave them a status above the powerless foot soldiers in the trenches below.’
      • ‘The First Minister took the opportunity to declare his new status: he is now above politics.’
      • ‘She wants her actions, inactions, and mistakes to be above any legal reproach.’
      • ‘This was an unmitigated good, and one that is politically above the reproach of critical interrogation.’
      • ‘The company's directors drove expensive cars that were leagues above the fleet vehicles that staff had.’
      • ‘Not only that, but the power is above all other principality, power, dominion, or might.’
      • ‘Why should a Garda have a certain status above the layperson?’
      • ‘Both companies have had their bond ratings reduced to one step above junk status.’
      • ‘Allah, the omni-powerful is above all power and shall repel the schemes of the unjust.’
    3. 2.3 In preference to:
      ‘the firm cynically chose profit above car safety’
      • ‘The companies must ensure that they do not put production and profit above the safety of human lives.’
      • ‘His work at Balco testifies to a character that placed profit above honesty and too easily chose wealth over morality.’
      • ‘As the man says, the French appear to value their right to drive and park however they want above public safety.’
      • ‘We oppose any move which would put a profit motive above the educational mission in the public funding of higher education in Scotland.’
      • ‘At the same time, if they are conciliatory in China, they are seen back at home as putting profit above principle.’
      • ‘To place commercial considerations above people's safety makes no sense.’
      • ‘I don't know of any loyal fan who would put making a profit above watching their team in such a huge match.’
      • ‘In doing so he demonstrates a clear preference of respectability above passion.’
      • ‘Each speech was funnier than the next and it seemed almost unfair to have to choose one above the others.’
      • ‘All of these are political decisions to put the profits of big business above the lives of millions of ordinary people.’
      • ‘This is why the public sector needs to be above preferment and dealism.’
      • ‘He was accused of protecting his draft status and of putting his welfare above the team's.’
      • ‘Agreement with an elder, boss, or anyone of higher status is valued above directness.’
      • ‘Bradford Cycling Action Group objected to the new version for putting the needs of car drivers above those of cyclists.’
      • ‘This inability of a provincial court judge to put public safety above the comforts of the criminal is unacceptable.’
      • ‘Will they put human health and the environment above chemical industry profits?’
      • ‘Some choose not to play but a growing number of our youth choose alcohol above athletic endeavour.’
      • ‘In Cunningham every candidate preferenced the Green above the Labor candidate.’
      • ‘What will happen if we feminise men so as to place safety above adventure, exploration and protection of the tribe?’
      • ‘We want the government to set the price of goods and guarantee a minimum wage so as not to put profits above the needs of the people.’
      more than, over, before, rather than, in preference to, in favour of, instead of, sooner than
      View synonyms
    4. 2.4 At a higher volume or pitch than:
      ‘he seldom spoke above a whisper’
      ‘the doorbell went unheard above the din’
      • ‘Imagine my surprise and chagrin when I realised that I could not hear any music above the din of the rattly old Northern Line train.’
      • ‘However, forecasters have still to make themselves heard above this huge volume of statistical noise.’
      • ‘Aedelin spoke softly, barely above a whisper, and this time it was he who closed his eyes.’
      • ‘I lay down on the bed, a thin mattress covered by state white sheets, and whispered above the din.’
      • ‘Mary looked up at her for a moment and spoke, her voice barely above a whisper.’
      • ‘But the talking, perhaps because it has to be done in a way that registers above the din of the train, is excruciating.’
      • ‘Her hearing is almost gone, her sight impaired, her voice barely above a whisper.’
      • ‘The guy on the other end of the line wouldn't raise his voice above a whisper, which I couldn't make out at all.’
      • ‘But, like its predecessors, it has an ability to make itself heard above the din of the crowded media marketplace.’
      • ‘A well loved member of the card playing circuit for many years his hearty laugh could always be heard above any din.’
      • ‘They were polite and spoke barely above a whisper and never used faults in an animal to force a deal.’
      • ‘A car driver with a mobile glued to his ear does his best to be heard above the din of blaring horns.’
      • ‘The chant built in volume and emotion above the engine's roar as we began to taxi.’
      • ‘At the sound of it, Kaleroth gasped and spoke in a voice barely above a whisper.’
      • ‘Am I only having this rant in order to make my voice heard above the din?’
      • ‘In some eating establishments it appears to be a serious crime for your offspring to talk above a whisper or wriggle slightly in their seats.’
      • ‘But meanwhile the Captain had made his commands heard above the din and confusion.’
      • ‘When he tried to thank everyone for coming, he could barely talk above a whisper.’
      • ‘Sadly for her, the Almighty wasn't listening - or He simply couldn't hear her above the din.’
      • ‘They were still working on a new tier of seating during our visit, and our guide had to shout above the din of the drilling and welding.’
  • 3Higher than (a specified amount, rate, or norm):

    ‘the food was well above average’
    ‘above sea level’
    • ‘There was also an above average suicide rate compared to other ethnic minorities and high levels of alcohol abuse.’
    • ‘With a bit of overclocking on the memory you should, by rights, be able to gain an average frame rate above thirty frames per second.’
    • ‘People who come from overseas for the match without a ticket are always prepared to fork out well above the going rate.’
    • ‘This is only just above the minimum wage, and isn't worth my while.’
    • ‘Sitting in a new car can subject riders to toxic emissions several times above the safety limits.’
    • ‘He said he hopes the company will produce a full quota of sugar and the benefits to both sides will be way above the costs of the dispute.’
    • ‘New Zealand kept the South African scoring rate at just above two runs an over until they took two wickets in the first two overs with the new ball.’
    • ‘I want Killarney Town Council to go above the minimum standards - we should be leaders in the field.’
    • ‘However, the region has been growing at rates well above the provincial average.’
    • ‘Only heating well above their preferred temperature, or antiseptic chemicals, can kill bacteria.’
    • ‘It has unemployment levels at three times the national average and truancy rates run five times above average measures.’
    • ‘You can get a loan that's only slightly above the rate at which the U.S. government borrows.’
    • ‘Mr McDonnell said a pay increase at least above the rate of inflation will be the union's minimum demand.’
    • ‘Teenage pregnancy rates there have soared above the national average since the project's start.’
    • ‘Will farmers face loss of EU payments or penalties if they have a stocking rate above 0.8 of a cow per acre?’
    • ‘It was the third poll in the last ten days to find Bush's approval rating at or above 40%.’
    • ‘For example, Abbey's postal Isa guarantees to pay at least 0.5 points above the base rate until April.’
    • ‘Pupils at the school achieved GCSE and A-level grades above the national average last year.’
    • ‘Health campaigners blame the power lines for the above average cancer rate that afflicts the area.’
    • ‘The group should outline a full year pre-tax profit above £1b for the first time.’
    • ‘Apparently the younger kids come in groups while those above 15 prefer to watch porn by themselves.’
    greater than, more than, higher than, exceeding, in excess of, over, over and above, beyond, surpassing, upwards of
    View synonyms

adverb

  • 1At a higher level or layer:

    ‘place a quantity of mud in a jar with water above’
    • ‘In the hot and humid summer months, air circulates below and throughout the living space above.’
    • ‘The cavern ceiling above shimmered as light was caught on its crystalline surface.’
    • ‘A safety diver hovered above and two guys were up top ready to haul me out if anything went awry.’
    • ‘The light is falling on the sitter almost from the side and slightly above.’
    • ‘Light enters through a large hole in the starboard side of the hull above.’
    • ‘Isolate the plants from the soil with a layer of peat moss above and below.’
    • ‘The echo here was very impressive and hinted of a very large space above.’
    • ‘Maybe they like feeling small and insignificant when compared to the infinite space above and the ominous desert around them.’
    • ‘We would redevelop it with a restaurant style pub on the ground floor, flats above and possibly housing in the car park.’
    • ‘Guests ate, drank and partied whilst being entertained by an array of fireworks in the skies above.’
    • ‘I, then, noticed a bright light in the sky above and not too far beyond the mountaintops.’
    • ‘From time to time water in drips and flurries empties into the pool from a mechanism on the ceiling and we are able to observe the effect played out on the wall above.’
    • ‘The walls of the glen loomed dark and heavy above and overhead the stars seemed to spin around him.’
    • ‘They are brown above and slightly darker on the wings than on the back and rump.’
    overhead, at the top, on the top, at a higher place, on a higher place, high up, on high, up above, high above one's head, aloft
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Higher in grade or rank:
      ‘an officer of the rank of superintendent or above’
      • ‘Its best performance two years ago saw 25 per cent of children gain five GCSEs or more at grade C or above.’
      • ‘And last year 82 per cent of its pupils gained five or more grade C and above GCSEs.’
      • ‘I was concerned that all of my experience had been with children from the fourth grade or above.’
      • ‘It is largely left to the officer who is generally of inspector rank or above to actually tailor what is required to the person individually.’
      • ‘Side airbags for the front cabin are standard on T3 cars and above.’
      • ‘Outside the city, the Jazz performs like a car from the class above, making it very relaxing to drive.’
      • ‘Players must be grade 3 standard or above and applications must be received by April 26.’
    2. 1.2 Higher than a specified amount, rate, or norm:
      ‘boats of 31 ft or above’
      • ‘Low to mid-20s would be a good average for most people with anything above seen as a bonus.’
      • ‘Close links between parents and the school were welcomed, while standards in all subjects were rated average or above.’
      • ‘Besides, one gram of gold is being offered on every purchase worth Rs.10,000 or above.’
    3. 1.3 (in printed text) mentioned earlier or further up on the same page:
      ‘the two cases described above’
      ‘see above left’
      [as adjective] ‘at the above address’
      [as noun] ‘since writing the above, I have reconsidered’
      • ‘The common theme in the above example is that Wenger has often replaced two players with one experienced player and a youngster.’
      • ‘According to Vassilev, the new strategy will consider all the above and then be submitted to the Cabinet.’
      • ‘All of these medicines are similar, so many of the above side effects may occur with any of the medicines.’
      • ‘The common factor in the above group of cases is that the result was unexpected by both principal and accomplice.’
      • ‘Of course, some of what I described above was perfectly common in 19th Century America.’
      • ‘Those principles seem to me to accord entirely with the approach of the common law set out above.’
      • ‘All of the above come with roasted potatoes, rice or fries, and fresh market vegetables.’
      • ‘What the above have in common, though, is the presence of a recognised, established quality striker.’
      • ‘The Central Remedial Clinic is giving four lucky Waterford people the chance to do all of the above and more!’
      • ‘It could be a pub quiz question: what do the above athletes have in common?’
      • ‘If you don't already know her work, you might like to check out the video mentioned above and also the samples at Amazon.’
      • ‘As noted above, at common law the trespasser received the least protection of any entrant on the occupier's premises.’
      • ‘As you can see above, the space is a bit tight where the clip connects to the socket.’
      • ‘I have already outlined the common general knowledge above, but it is now necessary to consider the subject in more detail.’
      • ‘We saw above that at common law, the wife could not enforce her right directly against her husband.’
      • ‘I went to the fabric store and found the materials described above and now own them.’
      • ‘One pound of seed spaced at the above recommendation should take up one-tenth of an acre.’
      • ‘One reason for this can be determined simply by looking at what all those films above have in common.’
      • ‘Of course, he had his own version to the more common sentiment expressed above.’
      • ‘The said proposal was wholly contrary to the agreement or common understanding pleaded above.’
      preceding, precedent, previous, earlier, former, foregoing, prior, antecedent, above-stated
      aforementioned, aforesaid
      anterior, prevenient, precursive, supra
      earlier, previously, before, formerly, further back
      View synonyms

Origin

Old English abufan (as an adverb), from a- ‘on’ + bufan (from bi ‘by’ + ufan ‘above’).

Pronunciation:

above

/əˈbʌv/