Definition of across in English:


adverb & preposition

  • 1From one side to the other of (a place, area, etc.)

    as preposition ‘I ran across the street’
    ‘travelling across Europe’
    as adverb ‘he had swum across’
    • ‘Two young boys were playing football indiscriminately across the area with a plastic bottle.’
    • ‘Pieces of the aircraft were strewn across a vast area.’
    • ‘When he returned an intelligent ball back across the six-yard area, Thompson slid in to bundle it over the line.’
    • ‘A lot of glass flew across the classroom and some of the children were quite alarmed.’
    • ‘His shot across the penalty area after good work by Neal Ardley lacked the power to trouble Paddy Kenny.’
    • ‘So as not to spoil it I've hidden the text as white though, so if you want to see it you need to drag your mouse across the blank looking area below.’
    • ‘Then in injury time, Miller's searching header back across a crowded area wreaked momentary havoc.’
    • ‘Like a little boy being led across a busy street by his mother, we will guide you.’
    • ‘Eight minutes later, he hit a neat pass across the penalty area before Todorov slipped the ball past Friedel.’
    • ‘She didn't even try to swim, but the waves of the lake carried her across to the other side.’
    • ‘Leading me back across the hall he turns to roar approval as his PR man taps some panelling to prove that it is not real marble.’
    • ‘American troops spread out across the area yesterday to investigate what had happened and question witnesses.’
    • ‘The boy shrugged and walked across it to the side with the handle.’
    • ‘To travel across to the other side of the world with a woman I love, to meet up with a man I love?’
    • ‘The two got together, and when Jim returned to the Bolton area, Maureen moved across the Pennines to join him.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, when we reached half way across the bridge a middle-aged man was speeding up behind us.’
    • ‘With easterly winds often travelling across the industrial areas of Europe, the visibility can be quite poor.’
    • ‘Police believe that as she was driving out of the forecourt, she failed to negotiate the bend and drove across the grass area.’
    • ‘Ramblers celebrated the launch of new right to roam laws by taking a stroll across former no-go areas all over the north west.’
    • ‘A conventional bomb could then be used to spread radioactive particles across a densely populated area.’
    to the other side of, from one side of … to the other, over, throughout the expanse of, throughout the width of, covering, everywhere on, on all parts of
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1as adverb Used with an expression of measurement.
      ‘mounds some 30 metres across’
      • ‘Could a bird that is said to be 20 metres across be able to escape detection for so long?’
      • ‘A high resolution camera will also sweep the surface, resolving details as small as two metres across.’
      • ‘They were standing inside a large circle, probably measuring about one hundred feet across.’
      • ‘Young men in white shirts and red sashes grasped each other round the shoulders to form a ring fifteen feet across.’
      • ‘The set was dominated by a grid of windmills, each a metre across.’
      • ‘But those pincers could grow three or four times as big, on the end of arms five feet long, and bodies nine feet across.’
      • ‘It was about fifteen feet high, and fifteen feet across, in the shape of a huge block.’
      • ‘In my memory the selected shell was about a foot across and 6 inches deep, the oyster inside a monster of the deep.’
      • ‘Think of us as a bullseye the size of a quarter in the middle of a target 11 feet across.’
      • ‘Douglas designed two reflection pools, about half a metre across and made of slate.’
      • ‘The other is lighter in colour, oval, about two feet across and has two indentations ground into its centre.’
      • ‘It measured 670 feet across and depicted a chain of crescents around a central circle.’
      • ‘The arrays will hold four dishes measuring approximately seven feet across.’
      • ‘He proposes to build a stone cairn six or seven feet high and 12 to 14 feet across, either inside the fold or next to it.’
      • ‘At about three feet in height and two feet across, it fits into the garden almost anywhere.’
      • ‘There was a gouge three foot across where the anchor had been winched up, ripping corals out with it.’
      • ‘The hole was about eighteen feet across and lay just over the rim of a low hill that rose in a long gentle slope from the side of our farm.’
      • ‘Once in a while, the funnel of air drops from the sky - it can be as narrow as a few metres across or as wide as two kilometres.’
      • ‘Mr Mitchell said it was the ideal place to hold his first exhibition, which features paintings up to ten feet across.’
      • ‘In fact, there was so much food that special tables were made for the occasion, about two metres across.’
  • 2Expressing position or orientation.

    as preposition ‘they lived across the street from one another’
    ‘the bridge across the river’
    as adverb ‘he looked across at me’
    ‘halfway across, Jenny jumped’
    • ‘Figures released this week provide an average house price across all of this area of £98,000.’
    • ‘Mr Howard has effectively written off the party's chances of winning seats in urban areas across the north of England.’
    • ‘To the east the magnificent new bridge stretches across the Oresund Sea to Malmo in Sweden.’
    • ‘Business, community groups and individuals across the area took part in last month's Macmillan event.’
    • ‘This led to flooding across many areas of agricultural land, leaving potato crops in ruin.’
    • ‘Scot runs an athletics club whose members train on the school's playing field for junior school pupils from across the area.’
    • ‘A new pedestrian bridge across the Cross river has just been completed by Mayo County Council.’
    • ‘He could feel Tyna lift her head up from her awkward position across her shoulder.’
    • ‘Out of the corner of my eye I can see CCTV's main camera lock on to my position from across the road.’
    • ‘Attacks on buses are being logged, and police are involved in operations across the area aimed at clamping down on the thugs.’
    • ‘Dozens more were at risk of collapsing as heavy rains continued across the area, authorities said.’
    • ‘He said the Flower Bridge should be built across a narrow stretch of water that was not so busy with river traffic.’
    • ‘In this way it hopes to boost living standards across a broad swathe of poor rural society.’
    • ‘In many ways the local authority has its hands tied and is in the same unenviable position as councils across the country.’
    • ‘It justifies a larger space and needs some benevolent soul to offer a venue and find the time to liaise with art teachers across the area.’
    • ‘For more than 20 years the estate - and many like it across the area - was neglected.’
    • ‘The main attraction is the Storms River and the suspension bridge that stretches across its mouth.’
    • ‘He had a gold earring in his right ear, and a tiny scar across the bridge of his nose.’
    • ‘I am not a celeb but as luck would have it, I have friends living across a wide geographical stretch.’
    • ‘Coun Powell said people living across the river from the gypsy camp had complained of being kept awake by noise from generators.’
    on the other side of, over, beyond, past
    View synonyms
  • 3as adverb Referring to a crossword answer which reads horizontally.

    ‘19 across’
    • ‘(1 across) The perfect source of digital interactive television.’


  • across the board

    • 1Applying to all.

      ‘the cutbacks might be across the board’
      • ‘A low-fat diet and exercise, however, produced strong results across the board.’
      • ‘Mr Henderson said the money was not earmarked for either secondary or primary education but was general funding across the board.’
      • ‘So it's something that needs to be looked at right across the board.’
      • ‘The first wave of fresh buying often goes into tracker funds, which invest in shares across the board, irrespective of the sector.’
      • ‘Apply this principle across the board to other areas of life and you lose more than you gain.’
      • ‘So greater regulation and enforcement of industrial laws are needed, but they must apply across the board.’
      • ‘It allows schools to build a centre of excellence, and use that specialist excellence and ethos to raise standards across the board.’
      • ‘The plan commits the council to tackle the way it operates across the board - from the way it is structured to how it delivers services.’
      • ‘Beyond any purely national relevance, many of his points apply right across the board.’
      • ‘This applies right across the board, as people are keen to find out news from home or find out information on an area.’
      • ‘This is a public policy decision which has to be applied across the board.’
      • ‘He said it was most likely that the eventual pay deal will result in increases of around 3.44 per cent across the board.’
      • ‘When asked where exactly the cuts would be made, Mr Collins said the savings would have to come from across the board.’
      • ‘And better childcare for women could increase the female participation in the workforce across the board.’
      • ‘Values such as scientific rationalism and secularism are today on the retreat in all areas of life, and across the board in education.’
      • ‘The side dishes and appetizers were okay, but uneven across the board.’
      • ‘The problem here is coordination, and it's coordination across the board.’
      • ‘We've heard nothing but praise for this film so far, but strangely it gets three stars across the board from the broadsheet reviewers.’
      • ‘That is, if tariffs were applied, then they were applied across the board.’
      • ‘It's a pretty simple concept, and apparently it applies across the board, no exceptions.’
    • 2(in horse racing) denoting a bet in which equal amounts are staked on the same horse to win, place, or show in a race.

      • ‘The BBC, sensing a winner, cashed in all their espionage chips, and placed bets across the board.’
  • across from

    • Opposite.

      ‘she sat across from me’
      • ‘However, that morning a young boy with extremely dark skin was sitting across from us.’
      • ‘For the past couple of months, I've been following the vicissitudes of a guy living across from me.’
      • ‘So he sits down across from me in one of the chairs they have set up in the the waiting area patio.’
      • ‘The man across from me thinks I'm smiling at him so he smiles at me smiling, and I smile even more.’
      • ‘One of the men across from us reminds me of a fish, his lips and something slimy they do when he looks at me.’
      • ‘Just across from the entrance to the grounds the grass is being cut on the public space.’
      • ‘It has been five and a half years now since they last sat across from each other at a table.’
      • ‘In the hospital, after school, he sat on one side of the bed, across from his mother.’
      • ‘We live right across from the desert in the foothills of the Tucson Mountains.’
      • ‘John spots Susan sitting across from him at an insider LA eatery and makes his way over to her table.’
      • ‘The site is located down a laneway beside the canal across from the Hazel hotel.’
      • ‘She sat down across from me at the one available picnic table in the cobbled courtyard outside our building.’
      • ‘She didn't seem to have noticed the man standing on the traffic island directly across from her.’
      • ‘Then he leaned forward with a wide smile and slapped a high-five on the hand of someone sitting across from him.’
      • ‘There was a pitch and putt course across from my house and we all played.’
      • ‘If you can get a good spot just across from the exit to the emergency room, you're set.’
      • ‘One of the amazing things was there were three unoccupied seats just across from me.’
      • ‘The outlet is based at Friary Road in Naas just across from the motor tax office.’
      • ‘She scolded the man across from her who refused to give up his seat to a lady.’
      • ‘Matt watches her from across the way, since her window is exactly across from his.’
      facing, face to face with, across from
      View synonyms
  • be (or get) across something

    • Fully understand all the details of an issue or situation.

      ‘the legislation is mind-bogglingly complex and you really need to be across it’
      • ‘So Mr Peters should not continue to say that he is across this issue and representing the views of farmers, because we are saying that that is not essentially the issue.’
      • ‘If that's the case, then collectively they should be across all media details and at least one member should have spotted the footage for what it was.’
      • ‘I was reading military journals in bed at night, just to get across the technical detail we needed to know.’
      • ‘We were fortunate to have a very thoughtful and perceptive Minister who was across the issues involved in the WorkCover Scheme reform.’


Middle English (as an adverb meaning ‘in the form of a cross’): from Old French a croix, en croix ‘in or on a cross’, later regarded as being from a- + cross.