Definition of above in US English:

above

preposition

  • 1In extended space over and not touching.

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

    ‘bruises above both eyes’
    ‘small windows above the aisles’
    • ‘Both feet are covered in blood and there's a sizeable puddle smeared on my left side just above the hip.’
    • ‘The space above the domed entrance is open, with four sides of offices, making up four floors.’
    • ‘In the grounds, there is also a stone studio or billiard room as well as stables with office space above.’
    • ‘The Limerick side have a game in hand over Bective Rangers, one of three sides 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.’
    • ‘The office was above the street level, all of the windows miraculously kept intact.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Those already computed will be listed in the space just above the calculator.’
    • ‘More than a decade ago, I wrote a cover story that ran in the space right above here.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The Jewish lady in the flat above ours has her window open; she's listening to opera and so is everyone else.’
    • ‘There's a nest in the woodrose vine outside the drawing room window, just above my eye level.’
    • ‘The paper gives most of the space above the fold to a five-column colour photo of a Lions Club wine tasting.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If the shrub is still too tall, cut back the stems to just above a strong side shoot.’
    • ‘At the rear of the building, there is a very significant fracture about 10 mm above the side door of the garage.’
    • ‘The firm designed for a mix of street-level stores with five floors of living space above.’
    • ‘The temporal lobes of the brain lie at the sides of the head above the ears.’
    1. 2.1 Higher in grade or rank than.
      ‘at a level above the common people’
      • ‘We work together on a couple of projects and I rank above her, but I am not her boss.’
      • ‘We have beaten better sides, sides above us in the table, but no victory has been more crucial than the one over the Broncos.’
      • ‘I swiftly came to the conclusion that anything above a fail grade would be a triumph.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He is now a senior whip and is ranked seven places above the finance spokesperson.’
      • ‘That score ranks the school above every other in Greater Manchester and as the 14th highest in the country.’
      • ‘Of course, Scotland is not a sovereign country in the same way as Estonia - which ranks just above us.’
      • ‘We have no bowlers capable of beating any of the teams ranked above us.’
      • ‘Many members just above the lowest grades are still on low pay and they have been offered nothing extra.’
      • ‘His rank and station have not been released by police, but it is understood he is of, or above, senior sergeant rank.’
      • ‘And the narrow victory lifted Wibsey above the east Leeds side into the second promotion position.’
      • ‘His research shows that two-thirds of policewomen above the rank of constable do not have children.’
      • ‘We are once again taking on a side from the division above us so we have a point to prove.’
      • ‘Garda sources last night said only ranks above that of inspector would be issued with phones.’
      • ‘There is just one female lieutenant - colonel in the army and no women in any of the four ranks above that post.’
      • ‘Ireland is ranked one place above South Africa in the IRB world rankings, in fifth place.’
      • ‘The demands placed on our rank by those above us are significant, to attend their meetings, to do their bidding.’
      • ‘We can compete with sides above us, we've just got to make sure we get our game right.’
      • ‘As they are two leagues above the local side it was, as it turned out, a fair and very entertaining game.’
      • ‘Kelvin Hall saw an eight per cent rise in the number of children who gained five GCSEs above grade C.’
      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.
      ‘I always like to say that I married above myself’
      ‘above reproach’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Demonstrations of greatness ultimately rank above close finishes or spectacular upsets.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘To inherit dominant status a subordinate must outlive all those above her in the queue.’
      • ‘Not only that, but the power is above all other principality, power, dominion, or might.’
    3. 2.3 In preference to.
      ‘they 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.’
      • ‘We oppose any move which would put a profit motive above the educational mission in the public funding of higher education in Scotland.’
      • ‘He was accused of protecting his draft status and of putting his welfare above the team's.’
      • ‘As the man says, the French appear to value their right to drive and park however they want above public safety.’
      • ‘In Cunningham every candidate preferenced the Green above the Labor candidate.’
      • ‘In doing so he demonstrates a clear preference of respectability above passion.’
      • ‘Will they put human health and the environment above chemical industry profits?’
      • ‘Each speech was funnier than the next and it seemed almost unfair to have to choose one above the others.’
      • ‘This is why the public sector needs to be above preferment and dealism.’
      • ‘At the same time, if they are conciliatory in China, they are seen back at home as putting profit above principle.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I don't know of any loyal fan who would put making a profit above watching their team in such a huge match.’
      • ‘Bradford Cycling Action Group objected to the new version for putting the needs of car drivers above those of cyclists.’
      • ‘To place commercial considerations above people's safety makes no sense.’
      • ‘All of these are political decisions to put the profits of big business above the lives of millions of ordinary people.’
      • ‘What will happen if we feminise men so as to place safety above adventure, exploration and protection of the tribe?’
      • ‘Agreement with an elder, boss, or anyone of higher status is valued above directness.’
      • ‘This inability of a provincial court judge to put public safety above the comforts of the criminal is unacceptable.’
      • ‘Some choose not to play but a growing number of our youth choose alcohol above athletic endeavour.’
      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.
      ‘it went unheard above the din’
      ‘above a whisper’
      • ‘But, like its predecessors, it has an ability to make itself heard above the din of the crowded media marketplace.’
      • ‘The chant built in volume and emotion above the engine's roar as we began to taxi.’
      • ‘When he tried to thank everyone for coming, he could barely talk above a whisper.’
      • ‘I lay down on the bed, a thin mattress covered by state white sheets, and whispered above the din.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They were polite and spoke barely above a whisper and never used faults in an animal to force a deal.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Aedelin spoke softly, barely above a whisper, and this time it was he who closed his eyes.’
      • ‘A car driver with a mobile glued to his ear does his best to be heard above the din of blaring horns.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘However, forecasters have still to make themselves heard above this huge volume of statistical noise.’
      • ‘But meanwhile the Captain had made his commands heard above the din and confusion.’
      • ‘Sadly for her, the Almighty wasn't listening - or He simply couldn't hear her above the din.’
      • ‘Mary looked up at her for a moment and spoke, her voice barely above a whisper.’
      • ‘At the sound of it, Kaleroth gasped and spoke in a voice barely above a whisper.’
      • ‘Her hearing is almost gone, her sight impaired, 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.’
      • ‘A well loved member of the card playing circuit for many years his hearty laugh could always be heard above any din.’
  • 3Higher than (a specified amount, rate, or norm)

    ‘above sea level’
    ‘above average’
    ‘above freezing’
    ‘the unemployment rate will soar above its present level’
    • ‘Sitting in a new car can subject riders to toxic emissions several times above the safety limits.’
    • ‘Health campaigners blame the power lines for the above average cancer rate that afflicts the area.’
    • ‘This is only just above the minimum wage, and isn't worth my while.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Will farmers face loss of EU payments or penalties if they have a stocking rate above 0.8 of a cow per acre?’
    • ‘It has unemployment levels at three times the national average and truancy rates run five times above average measures.’
    • ‘The group should outline a full year pre-tax profit above £1b for the first time.’
    • ‘You can get a loan that's only slightly above the rate at which the U.S. government borrows.’
    • ‘There was also an above average suicide rate compared to other ethnic minorities and high levels of alcohol abuse.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Only heating well above their preferred temperature, or antiseptic chemicals, can kill bacteria.’
    • ‘For example, Abbey's postal Isa guarantees to pay at least 0.5 points above the base rate until April.’
    • ‘However, the region has been growing at rates well above the provincial average.’
    • ‘Apparently the younger kids come in groups while those above 15 prefer to watch porn by themselves.’
    • ‘Pupils at the school achieved GCSE and A-level grades above the national average last year.’
    • ‘Teenage pregnancy rates there have soared above the national average since the project's start.’
    • ‘I want Killarney Town Council to go above the minimum standards - we should be leaders in the field.’
    • ‘Mr McDonnell said a pay increase at least above the rate of inflation will be the union's minimum demand.’
    • ‘It was the third poll in the last ten days to find Bush's approval rating at or above 40%.’
    • ‘People who come from overseas for the match without a ticket are always prepared to fork out well above the going rate.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’
    • ‘Maybe they like feeling small and insignificant when compared to the infinite space above and the ominous desert around them.’
    • ‘A safety diver hovered above and two guys were up top ready to haul me out if anything went awry.’
    • ‘The echo here was very impressive and hinted of a very large space above.’
    • ‘The light is falling on the sitter almost from the side and slightly above.’
    • ‘The walls of the glen loomed dark and heavy above and overhead the stars seemed to spin around him.’
    • ‘I, then, noticed a bright light in the sky above and not too far beyond the mountaintops.’
    • ‘They are brown above and slightly darker on the wings than on the back and rump.’
    • ‘The cavern ceiling above shimmered as light was caught on its crystalline surface.’
    • ‘Isolate the plants from the soil with a layer of peat moss above and below.’
    • ‘Light enters through a large hole in the starboard side of the hull above.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We would redevelop it with a restaurant style pub on the ground floor, flats above and possibly housing in the car park.’
    • ‘In the hot and humid summer months, air circulates below and throughout the living space above.’
    • ‘Guests ate, drank and partied whilst being entertained by an array of fireworks in the skies above.’
    overhead, at the top, on the top, at a higher place, on a higher place, high up, on high, up above, in the sky, up in the sky, high above one's head, aloft, in the heavens, up in the heavens
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Higher in grade or rank.
      ‘an officer of the rank of superintendent 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.’
      • ‘And last year 82 per cent of its pupils gained five or more grade C and above GCSEs.’
      • ‘Players must be grade 3 standard or above and applications must be received by April 26.’
      • ‘Outside the city, the Jazz performs like a car from the class above, making it very relaxing to drive.’
      • ‘Its best performance two years ago saw 25 per cent of children gain five GCSEs or more at grade C or above.’
      • ‘Side airbags for the front cabin are standard on T3 cars and above.’
      • ‘I was concerned that all of my experience had been with children from the fourth grade or above.’
    2. 1.2 Higher than a specified amount, rate, or norm.
      ‘boats of 31 ft. or above’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Low to mid-20s would be a good average for most people with anything above seen as a bonus.’
    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 said proposal was wholly contrary to the agreement or common understanding pleaded above.’
      • ‘The Central Remedial Clinic is giving four lucky Waterford people the chance to do all of the above and more!’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If you don't already know her work, you might like to check out the video mentioned above and also the samples at Amazon.’
      • ‘The common theme in the above example is that Wenger has often replaced two players with one experienced player and a youngster.’
      • ‘One reason for this can be determined simply by looking at what all those films above have in common.’
      • ‘According to Vassilev, the new strategy will consider all the above and then be submitted to the Cabinet.’
      • ‘As noted above, at common law the trespasser received the least protection of any entrant on the occupier's premises.’
      • ‘The common factor in the above group of cases is that the result was unexpected by both principal and accomplice.’
      • ‘Those principles seem to me to accord entirely with the approach of the common law set out above.’
      • ‘It could be a pub quiz question: what do the above athletes have in common?’
      • ‘One pound of seed spaced at the above recommendation should take up one-tenth of an acre.’
      • ‘Of course, some of what I described above was perfectly common in 19th Century America.’
      • ‘Of course, he had his own version to the more common sentiment expressed above.’
      • ‘We saw above that at common law, the wife could not enforce her right directly against her husband.’
      • ‘All of these medicines are similar, so many of the above side effects may occur with any of the medicines.’
      • ‘I went to the fabric store and found the materials described above and now own them.’
      • ‘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.’
      earlier, previously, before, formerly, further back
      preceding, precedent, previous, earlier, former, foregoing, prior, antecedent, above-stated
      View synonyms

Phrases

  • above all

    • More so than anything else.

      ‘he was concerned above all to speak the truth’
      • ‘We took solace in the fact that, above all else, music was his passion and that we could take his mind off his disease while we played.’
      • ‘But, above all else, this was a celebration of Manchester's ability to party.’
      • ‘So, keep reading, keep writing, but above all else, just have a great time!’
      • ‘This was a night that testified to United powers and, above all, to the glory of football in its ideal state.’
      • ‘But for me, above all else, it was his Schubert which was truly miraculous.’
      • ‘Such a principle, above all else, is what we must seek as we try to understand the world around us.’
      • ‘But above all else, I must thank my producers at the Big Blog Company. without whom there would be no site.’
      • ‘Neutral Good characters believe in the power of good above all else.’
      • ‘The Union is about that above all else and we Scots shouldn't forget it - because the English are beginning to remember.’
      • ‘Those seven Maori members say that, above all else, they speak for Maori.’
      most importantly, before everything, beyond everything, first of all, most of all, chiefly, primarily, in the first place, first and foremost, mainly, principally, predominantly, especially, essentially, basically, elementally, in essence, at bottom
      View synonyms
  • above oneself

    • Conceited; arrogant.

      • ‘But equally, he is careful to ensure that nobody gets above themselves and that ‘everyone works for the team.’’
      • ‘These were, after all, the descendants of people who had learned bitter lessons about the dangers of ‘getting above yourself.’’
      • ‘It was as if he was always wary of getting above himself, of giving himself airs and graces, a peculiarly Scottish trait.’
      • ‘‘I'm not at all up on fashion,’ he says quickly, as if he doesn't want people to think he has got above himself.’
      • ‘She's strikingly genuine and not above herself at all - even though she spends most of her days interviewing celebrities, and has just starred in a Hollywood movie that's set to be a box office hit.’
      • ‘But my Mum, probably because of her mother's treatment of her, was very, very frightened of our getting above ourselves.’
      • ‘Well, I think we've gotten above ourselves in recent years, and it's about time someone brought us down a peg.’
      • ‘In my case, they thought I was getting above myself.’
      • ‘I got stick from the kids in my street because I was getting above myself and my stepmother used to fan the flames of that. ‘Get your nose out of that book and do something useful,’ was a common phrase where I lived.’’
      • ‘Unfortunately, these places have got above themselves and imagine that they can get away with charging a fiver, not including the extremely tiny cup of tea or coffee, that costs £1.10.’
      conceited, proud, arrogant, self-important, haughty, disdainful, snobbish, snobby, supercilious, imperious
      View synonyms
  • from above

    • 1From overhead.

      ‘branches rained from above’
      • ‘A rustling came from the leaves and branches of the tree, and a girl dropped from above.’
      • ‘Craters appeared in her wake from the hail of bullets raining down on her from above.’
      • ‘His hands glowed a bloody red, and the rain from above strengthened and poured down.’
      • ‘She waited for the sky to open again, for the prey to rain from above.’
      • ‘Fate however it seemed was on her side as a rumble of thunder growled down at everyone from above and large drops of rain began to fall.’
      • ‘Dust and rain came into the house from above as easily as bullets and tanks shells could penetrate the walls.’
      • ‘As fire raged beneath, chunks of debris rained down from above.’
      • ‘The Cityboys formed a rough circle, ignoring the rain of lead that fell on them from above.’
      • ‘He succeeds in getting it out, only to have many small boxes rain on him from above.’
      • ‘Yes, I water from the top, but they can live outdoors down here and rain falls from above.’
      1. 1.1From a position of higher rank or authority.
        ‘mass culture is imposed from above’
        • ‘These schemes of working closer together are imposed from above, and are not what many grass-roots people want.’
        • ‘Nobody is seriously concerned about a conservative roll-back imposed from above.’
        • ‘What France needed was authority from above, confidence from below.’
        • ‘You could impose a lot of rules from above, which people would resent and look for ways to break.’
        • ‘The evidence points to him being under intense pressure from above to do something about the popular priest.’
        • ‘The problem is that the modernisation was a Westernisation imposed from above.’
        • ‘We don't need any more ideologies imposed on us from above by intellectual thugs who think they are doing it for our own good.’
        • ‘It can't be imposed from above or from outside or from behind our backs.’
        • ‘Often the coup is undertaken to pre-empt revolutionary change from below and impose a measure of reform from above.’
        • ‘In the first place, democracy cannot be imposed by military force from above.’
  • not be above

    • Be capable of stooping to (an unworthy act)

      ‘he was not above practical jokes’
      • ‘Republicans, not to mention Democrats, aren't above a well-timed leak to maximize political damage against their opponents.’
      • ‘Still, I'm not above pocketing a bottle of Coke on my way out, so long as I'm not being sneaky about it.’
      • ‘He has a sense of humor too, and isn't above mugging for the camera.’
      • ‘Of course, Mr. King isn't above a bit of snobbery himself.’
      • ‘I just hoped Luke, along with his designer moodiness, wasn't above actually driving there.’
      • ‘It's a controversial portrayal of the great man which isn't above hinting he had a dark side.’
      • ‘It is not the policy of this newspaper to select candidates for the election, but I'm not above pointing out some things I've noticed in the past week.’
      • ‘Anyway, she isn't above such comments herself.’
      • ‘And even more shameful is that I'm not above reverting to the old ways.’
      • ‘The farmers aren't above exaggeration - this, after all, is the tradition when officials come from the city.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

above

/əˈbəv//əˈbəv/