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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘More than 100 fireworks a minute were fired off, with bursts more than 1,000 ft above the town.’
    • ‘Some fireworks went off dramatically above me, and I wandered back to John's.’
    • ‘In February 1968 the air above this space was crowded with comings and goings.’
    • ‘Nervously, I then checked the space above the rear passenger doors.’
    • ‘A spectacular firework display is being staged above Lancaster Castle on November 8.’
    • ‘He saw it, with a shock, much closer than expected, in the air space above the valley floor.’
    • ‘A false ceiling had been inserted and the space above it left unused.’
    • ‘Fireworks lit the sky above them, Jonathan leaned back and Ava lay with her head on his stomach.’
    • ‘Michael Alstad's videos reveal urban spaces that are above or below the passenger's sightlines.’
    • ‘Travel millions of miles to space above the remarkable contours of Venus and Mars.’
    • ‘Rocks tumbled from an old castle above island's main town, Linaria, and smashed onto parked cars.’
    • ‘He was able to wander freely in the roof space above the check-in area and other areas barred to the public.’
    • ‘The space above the outstretched hand began to glow, shimmering in the darkness.’
    • ‘The event will snake through the city centre culminating with a fireworks display above Leeds Town Hall at midnight.’
    • ‘The only significant addition to security since then has been in clearing and monitoring the air space above Utah during the Games.’
    • ‘Then Briony became silent, staring angrily at the space above his left shoulder.’
    • ‘In ascending from the first floor, you are aware of space above and below you.’
    • ‘So up a wooden ladder into the crawl space above the church sanctuary, Billy Gaines went.’
    • ‘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’
      • ‘I waved my arms in the air above my head and nearly lost my voice while trying to sing along.’
      • ‘Sitting with my arm stretched up above my head is, and always has been, comfortable.’
      • ‘Akane was sitting on her knees, her arms outstretched above her head in a wake-up stretch.’
      • ‘It helps to repeat the inspection with your arms stretched above your head and again with your hand pressed firmly on your hip.’
      • ‘Vaughn sat back in his chair and stretched his arms above his head.’
      • ‘They wasted no time in getting the crowd into action, pumping their fists, waving their arms, clapping above their heads.’
      • ‘She demonstrates a move, flowing gracefully into position with arms extended above her head.’
      • ‘Jimmy Saville, in trademark shell suit, made his entrance through the audience like a boxer, arms above his head.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Remembering to keep your body straight, head erect, arms straight and to the sides or above the head, is really quite difficult.’
      • ‘Grab the bar with a shoulder-width grip and extend your arms straight above your face.’
      • ‘Inhale, lift your arms above you, and turn your left knee outward to open your hip.’
      • ‘My torso and legs were neatly tucked underneath a white bed sheet, while my arms were resting above it.’
      • ‘Additional padding has been fitted each side of and above the driver's legs to minimize the risk of leg injury.’
      • ‘He stretched his arms high above his head and began to walk to his bedroom.’
      • ‘Holding your left arm steady, raise your right arm above your head.’
      • ‘Today he cannot raise his arms above his head because his shoulders were dislocated so many times.’
      • ‘Keep in mind that abdominal muscle force increases as the arms are extended further above the head.’
      • ‘He stretched his arms above his head and glanced at the clock on his bedside, it was eight o'clock.’
      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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Up the other side, above masses of jungle, rose a rocky, desolate mountain.’
      • ‘Crews have also been patrolling the hills above the Trans-Canada Highway, said McHale.’
      • ‘Giant wind turbines could be sited on hills above Todmorden if plans by Coronation Power Ltd get the go-ahead.’
      • ‘In addition, above the altar in the side chapel, the church has placed a large painting by Mr Willson.’
      • ‘Family mementos and photographs were carefully spaced along the mantelpiece above a gas fireplace.’
      • ‘The western wall, either side of and above the main entrance, is waiting.’
      • ‘The two swayed from side to side above me, taller than ever.’
      • ‘The reception hall is very bright thanks to glass panels above and to the side of the front door.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The six Roman heroes stand high up in the side arches, above the entablature that crowns the actual windows in the wall.’
      • ‘It is still part of their capital and it too stands on a hill above the floodwaters.’
      • ‘I got in the car and we drove back to the house on the hill above the store.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘On the hill above Adamstown, Steve Christian could be heard last week blasting breadfruit out of the tall trees with his shotgun.’
      • ‘It will see a scientific centre of excellence created at the museum, which stands on the former airfield on the hills above Wroughton.’
      • ‘Looters hit a police station in Petionville, an upscale suburb in the hills above the capital.’
      • ‘I had been in a bad mood; then I saw this from the hills above Delphi.’
      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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There's a nest in the woodrose vine outside the drawing room window, just above my eye level.’
    • ‘More than a decade ago, I wrote a cover story that ran in the space right above here.’
    • ‘After all, the Pittodrie club finished last season in second bottom spot, with the Ayrshire side one place above them.’
    • ‘Both feet are covered in blood and there's a sizeable puddle smeared on my left side just above the hip.’
    • ‘The firm designed for a mix of street-level stores with five floors of living space above.’
    • ‘The Jewish lady in the flat above ours has her window open; she's listening to opera and so is everyone else.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The office was above the street level, all of the windows miraculously kept intact.’
    • ‘The paper gives most of the space above the fold to a five-column colour photo of a Lions Club wine tasting.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The Limerick side have a game in hand over Bective Rangers, one of three sides above them.’
    • ‘Those already computed will be listed in the space just above the calculator.’
    • ‘In the grounds, there is also a stone studio or billiard room as well as stables with office space above.’
    • ‘At the rear of the building, there is a very significant fracture about 10 mm above the side door of the garage.’
    • ‘The space above the domed entrance is open, with four sides of offices, making up four floors.’
    • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘We work together on a couple of projects and I rank above her, but I am not her boss.’
      • ‘We have no bowlers capable of beating any of the teams ranked above us.’
      • ‘We have beaten better sides, sides above us in the table, but no victory has been more crucial than the one over the Broncos.’
      • ‘He is now a senior whip and is ranked seven places above the finance spokesperson.’
      • ‘Kelvin Hall saw an eight per cent rise in the number of children who gained five GCSEs above grade C.’
      • ‘Of course, Scotland is not a sovereign country in the same way as Estonia - which ranks just above us.’
      • ‘His rank and station have not been released by police, but it is understood he is of, or above, senior sergeant rank.’
      • ‘The demands placed on our rank by those above us are significant, to attend their meetings, to do their bidding.’
      • ‘I swiftly came to the conclusion that anything above a fail grade would be a triumph.’
      • ‘We can compete with sides above us, we've just got to make sure we get our game right.’
      • ‘And the narrow victory lifted Wibsey above the east Leeds side into the second promotion position.’
      • ‘But if the injuries clear, I expect Aberdeen to put pressure on the sides above them.’
      • ‘There is just one female lieutenant - colonel in the army and no women in any of the four ranks above that post.’
      • ‘His research shows that two-thirds of policewomen above the rank of constable do not have children.’
      • ‘Many members just above the lowest grades are still on low pay and they have been offered nothing extra.’
      • ‘As they are two leagues above the local side it was, as it turned out, a fair and very entertaining game.’
      • ‘That score ranks the school above every other in Greater Manchester and as the 14th highest in the country.’
      • ‘Ireland is ranked one place above South Africa in the IRB world rankings, in fifth place.’
      • ‘It seems that every layer of government above the level of municipal officialdom made no preparations for this at all.’
      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’
      • ‘Both companies have had their bond ratings reduced to one step above junk status.’
      • ‘The company's directors drove expensive cars that were leagues above the fleet vehicles that staff had.’
      • ‘She wants her actions, inactions, and mistakes to be above any legal reproach.’
      • ‘Why should a Garda have a certain status above the layperson?’
      • ‘This was an unmitigated good, and one that is politically above the reproach of critical interrogation.’
      • ‘Demonstrations of greatness ultimately rank above close finishes or spectacular upsets.’
      • ‘The First Minister took the opportunity to declare his new status: he is now above politics.’
      • ‘Not only that, but the power is above all other principality, power, dominion, or might.’
      • ‘To inherit dominant status a subordinate must outlive all those above her in the queue.’
      • ‘Allah, the omni-powerful is above all power and shall repel the schemes of the unjust.’
      • ‘Pilots had some control over their fate, which gave them a status above the powerless foot soldiers in the trenches below.’
    3. 2.3 In preference to.
      ‘they cynically chose profit above car safety’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Will they put human health and the environment above chemical industry profits?’
      • ‘To place commercial considerations above people's safety makes no sense.’
      • ‘What will happen if we feminise men so as to place safety above adventure, exploration and protection of the tribe?’
      • ‘This is why the public sector needs to be above preferment and dealism.’
      • ‘I don't know of any loyal fan who would put making a profit above watching their team in such a huge match.’
      • ‘Each speech was funnier than the next and it seemed almost unfair to have to choose one above the others.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In Cunningham every candidate preferenced the Green above the Labor candidate.’
      • ‘Bradford Cycling Action Group objected to the new version for putting the needs of car drivers above those of cyclists.’
      • ‘Some choose not to play but a growing number of our youth choose alcohol above athletic endeavour.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The companies must ensure that they do not put production and profit above the safety of human lives.’
      • ‘All of these are political decisions to put the profits of big business above the lives of millions of ordinary people.’
      • ‘His work at Balco testifies to a character that placed profit above honesty and too easily chose wealth over morality.’
      • ‘In doing so he demonstrates a clear preference of respectability above passion.’
      • ‘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.’
      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’
      • ‘The chant built in volume and emotion above the engine's roar as we began to taxi.’
      • ‘Sadly for her, the Almighty wasn't listening - or He simply couldn't hear her 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.’
      • ‘At the sound of it, Kaleroth gasped and spoke in a voice barely above a whisper.’
      • ‘However, forecasters have still to make themselves heard above this huge volume of statistical noise.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Am I only having this rant in order to make my voice heard above the din?’
      • ‘They were polite and spoke barely above a whisper and never used faults in an animal to force a deal.’
      • ‘When he tried to thank everyone for coming, he could barely talk above a whisper.’
      • ‘Mary looked up at her for a moment and spoke, her voice barely above a whisper.’
      • ‘Aedelin spoke softly, barely above a whisper, and this time it was he who closed his eyes.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I lay down on the bed, a thin mattress covered by state white sheets, and whispered above the din.’
      • ‘A car driver with a mobile glued to his ear does his best to be heard above the din of blaring horns.’
      • ‘But meanwhile the Captain had made his commands heard above the din and confusion.’
  • 3Higher than (a specified amount, rate, or norm)

    ‘above sea level’
    ‘above average’
    ‘above freezing’
    ‘the unemployment rate will soar above its present level’
    • ‘However, the region has been growing at rates well above the provincial average.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘People who come from overseas for the match without a ticket are always prepared to fork out well above the going rate.’
    • ‘Sitting in a new car can subject riders to toxic emissions several times above the safety limits.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘Pupils at the school achieved GCSE and A-level grades above the national average last year.’
    • ‘I want Killarney Town Council to go above the minimum standards - we should be leaders in the field.’
    • ‘Only heating well above their preferred temperature, or antiseptic chemicals, can kill bacteria.’
    • ‘You can get a loan that's only slightly above the rate at which the U.S. government borrows.’
    • ‘It was the third poll in the last ten days to find Bush's approval rating at or above 40%.’
    • ‘Apparently the younger kids come in groups while those above 15 prefer to watch porn by themselves.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘For example, Abbey's postal Isa guarantees to pay at least 0.5 points above the base rate until April.’
    • ‘Mr McDonnell said a pay increase at least above the rate of inflation will be the union's minimum demand.’
    • ‘It has unemployment levels at three times the national average and truancy rates run five times above average measures.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The group should outline a full year pre-tax profit above £1b for the first time.’
    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’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘We would redevelop it with a restaurant style pub on the ground floor, flats above and possibly housing in the car park.’
    • ‘Maybe they like feeling small and insignificant when compared to the infinite space above and the ominous desert around them.’
    • ‘The echo here was very impressive and hinted of a very large space above.’
    • ‘In the hot and humid summer months, air circulates below and throughout the living space above.’
    • ‘They are brown above and slightly darker on the wings than on the back and rump.’
    • ‘I, then, noticed a bright light in the sky above and not too far beyond the mountaintops.’
    • ‘Isolate the plants from the soil with a layer of peat moss above and below.’
    • ‘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 walls of the glen loomed dark and heavy above and overhead the stars seemed to spin around him.’
    • ‘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.’
      • ‘Players must be grade 3 standard or above and applications must be received by April 26.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Its best performance two years ago saw 25 per cent of children gain five GCSEs or more at grade C or above.’
      • ‘Outside the city, the Jazz performs like a car from the class above, making it very relaxing to drive.’
      • ‘Side airbags for the front cabin are standard on T3 cars and 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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As you can see above, the space is a bit tight where the clip connects to the socket.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Central Remedial Clinic is giving four lucky Waterford people the chance to do all of the above and more!’
      • ‘All of these medicines are similar, so many of the above side effects may occur with any of the medicines.’
      • ‘Those principles seem to me to accord entirely with the approach of the common law set out above.’
      • ‘Of course, he had his own version to the more common sentiment expressed above.’
      • ‘Of course, some of what I described above was perfectly common in 19th Century America.’
      • ‘All of the above come with roasted potatoes, rice or fries, and fresh market vegetables.’
      • ‘The said proposal was wholly contrary to the agreement or common understanding pleaded above.’
      • ‘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 factor in the above group of cases is that the result was unexpected by both principal and accomplice.’
      • ‘What the above have in common, though, is the presence of a recognised, established quality striker.’
      • ‘The common theme in the above example is that Wenger has often replaced two players with one experienced player and a youngster.’
      • ‘I went to the fabric store and found the materials described above and now own them.’
      • ‘One reason for this can be determined simply by looking at what all those films above have in common.’
      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’
      • ‘This was a night that testified to United powers and, above all, to the glory of football in its ideal state.’
      • ‘But above all else, I must thank my producers at the Big Blog Company. without whom there would be no site.’
      • ‘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 for me, above all else, it was his Schubert which was truly miraculous.’
      • ‘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!’
      • ‘The Union is about that above all else and we Scots shouldn't forget it - because the English are beginning to remember.’
      • ‘Such a principle, above all else, is what we must seek as we try to understand the world around us.’
      • ‘Neutral Good characters believe in the power of good above all else.’
      • ‘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.

      • ‘These were, after all, the descendants of people who had learned bitter lessons about the dangers of ‘getting above yourself.’’
      • ‘But equally, he is careful to ensure that nobody gets above themselves and that ‘everyone works for the team.’’
      • ‘Well, I think we've gotten above ourselves in recent years, and it's about time someone brought us down a peg.’
      • ‘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.’’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In my case, they thought I was getting above myself.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But my Mum, probably because of her mother's treatment of her, was very, very frightened of our getting above ourselves.’
      conceited, proud, arrogant, self-important, haughty, disdainful, snobbish, snobby, supercilious, imperious
      View synonyms
  • from above

    • 1From overhead.

      ‘branches rained from above’
      • ‘She waited for the sky to open again, for the prey to rain from above.’
      • ‘As fire raged beneath, chunks of debris rained down from above.’
      • ‘His hands glowed a bloody red, and the rain from above strengthened and poured down.’
      • ‘He succeeds in getting it out, only to have many small boxes rain on him from above.’
      • ‘Dust and rain came into the house from above as easily as bullets and tanks shells could penetrate the walls.’
      • ‘The Cityboys formed a rough circle, ignoring the rain of lead that fell on them 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.’
      • ‘Yes, I water from the top, but they can live outdoors down here and rain falls 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.’
      1. 1.1From a position of higher rank or authority.
        ‘mass culture is imposed from above’
        • ‘What France needed was authority from above, confidence from below.’
        • ‘It can't be imposed from above or from outside or from behind our backs.’
        • ‘You could impose a lot of rules from above, which people would resent and look for ways to break.’
        • ‘The problem is that the modernisation was a Westernisation imposed from above.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘Nobody is seriously concerned about a conservative roll-back imposed from above.’
        • ‘The evidence points to him being under intense pressure from above to do something about the popular priest.’
        • ‘These schemes of working closer together are imposed from above, and are not what many grass-roots people want.’
        • ‘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.’
  • not be above

    • Be capable of stooping to (an unworthy act)

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

Origin

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

Pronunciation

above

/əˈbəv//əˈbəv/