Definition of abreast in US English:

abreast

adverb

  • 1Side by side and facing the same way.

    ‘the path was wide enough for two people to walk abreast’
    ‘they were riding three abreast’
    • ‘Elderly people seemed to dominate the pavements as they walked six abreast, oblivious of the office workers and commuters ‘tutting’ as they had to walk into the road to get round them.’
    • ‘So when two cyclists - one of my other pet peeves - cut him off by riding two abreast, I kindly offered to open the passenger door and clean them up for him.’
    • ‘You can see them walking three abreast and you have to walk into the road to get past.’
    • ‘We set out along a series of paths just wide enough for two horses to walk abreast.’
    • ‘They are walking eight abreast, so that they take up all of the narrow pavement and spill out for several yards into the road.’
    • ‘The secret passage was wide enough for three or four men to walk abreast.’
    • ‘It is virtually impossible to walk two abreast along the pavement and for wheelchairs and pushchairs it is a complete nightmare.’
    • ‘The couple were both quite fat and were walking abreast and consequently blocked the whole path.’
    • ‘There are the people who walk three abreast and really slowly forcing you to lower your pace until you spot a chance to get around them.’
    • ‘Cyclists may feel a little more inclined to use the towpath if pedestrians did not walk four abreast and refuse to give way until the last minute and dog walkers kept their dogs on a short lead and cleaned up after their dogs.’
    • ‘We were walking three abreast down the sidewalk, with that peculiar city gait that belongs only to the evening - slow enough to be casual, but brisk enough to be purposeful.’
    • ‘They often, too, ride two abreast, causing car drivers to swerve to the other side of the road to pass them.’
    • ‘Conveying a fluid sense of motion, simple outlines portray two lions walking abreast.’
    • ‘A tiny arched drawbridge spanned the channel, wide enough for two people to walk abreast.’
    • ‘Do they really think that by riding nine abreast, they are indestructible?’
    • ‘Over the Marriage Bridge the Honeymoon Path is broad, allowing a couple to walk abreast - until they reach an obstruction that represents the first difference of opinion.’
    • ‘Before them stretched a long corridor, allowing only three people to walk abreast.’
    • ‘Ahead in the light of the rising sun, they walked four abreast: well dressed, totally in black, wearing expressions of serious missions.’
    • ‘The interior is so cramped that two people cannot walk abreast.’
    • ‘Everyone is entitled to walk the streets of the town - but not to take them over and walk four and five abreast.’
    in a row, side by side, alongside, level, abeam, on a level, beside each other, shoulder to shoulder, cheek by jowl
    View synonyms
  • 2Alongside or even with something.

    ‘the cart came abreast of the Americans in their rickshaw’
    • ‘Twenty minutes out and through the mist we came abreast of a race in full swing.’
    • ‘He said there was no way the two cars could have been abreast of each other on the night.’
    • ‘As he came abreast of the viewing stand, he was coming full circle preparing to start the cycle again.’
    • ‘As I kept walking and came abreast with the ice cream vendor, I saw a sign on the front that said ‘Sorry, no power = no ice cream.’’
    1. 2.1 Up to date with the latest news, ideas, or information.
      ‘keeping abreast of developments’
      • ‘Another way of keeping abreast of opportunities is to use one of the services that track contracts that could be relevant to your business.’
      • ‘I am supposed to keep abreast of things happening around the world.’
      • ‘This is particularly true in the office, where crafty technologies help bosses keep abreast of what their employees are doing.’
      • ‘However, experts said the targets were ‘well short’ of what will be needed to keep abreast of growing demand.’
      • ‘Eddie spent all his adult life working in England and always kept abreast of what was happening in his native Roscommon.’
      • ‘It is difficult to keep abreast of the various voluntary activities that Veronica has engaged herself in.’
      • ‘Indeed, she reads the paper and a variety of magazines regularly, and likes to keep abreast of current affairs.’
      • ‘There are lots of things I think police officers do in their own time to keep them abreast of developments inside and outside the service.’
      • ‘Occasionally, I tune in to right wing talk radio to keep abreast of what the ‘dark side’ is up to.’
      • ‘As those of us who have kept abreast of current events know, this is a profoundly important election.’
      • ‘In the meantime I want to keep you abreast of what's going on at this end.’
      • ‘Do we need a new kind of technology to keep us abreast of these developments?’
      • ‘This helps keep him abreast of how Yorkshire has changed over the years - not that change is too rapid.’
      • ‘Doctors do this kind of thing in order to keep abreast of developments in medicine and to keep our colleagues informed.’
      • ‘I texted that Hebron woman to keep her abreast of my news.’
      • ‘To guide the students onto the right path, teachers need to keep themselves abreast of the emerging global trends.’
      • ‘It has a sizable business section with two writers sharing the job of keeping readers abreast the news.’
      • ‘The NBC needs to keep abreast of changes in this technologically charged and competitive environment.’
      • ‘His treatment is based on the latest knowledge by a leading authority who has kept abreast of both the information and the debates.’
      • ‘Mr Gonsell spends half an hour a day reading the New York Times and Washington Post to keep abreast with international news.’
      up to date with, up with, in touch with, informed about, familiar with, acquainted with, knowledgeable about, conversant with, au courant with, au fait with
      View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English: from a- ‘in’ + breast.

Pronunciation

abreast

/əˈbrest//əˈbrɛst/