Definition of against in English:



  • 1In opposition to.

    ‘the fight against crime’
    ‘he decided against immediate publication’
    ‘swimming against the tide’
    • ‘Footage from existing cameras is already helping in the fight against crime.’
    • ‘Many of the relays doing very well up against stiff opposition and bad weather.’
    • ‘It is one of the various small ways in which the public can fight back against the people who are undermining their quality of life.’
    • ‘Testing ourselves against opposition of this quality is one reason why we need to bounce back into the top flight.’
    • ‘The fight against burglary, anti-social behaviour and serious drug crime are at the top of our list.’
    • ‘News that technology is assisting the fight against crime has been welcomed.’
    • ‘He has fought against it in government, in opposition and within his own party.’
    • ‘And he also credited the public as having played a major role in the fight against crime.’
    • ‘In opposition, we were against the privatisation of air traffic control, then did the opposite in power.’
    • ‘As has been said so many times before - in the fight against crime there can be no compromise.’
    • ‘People don't like to change their ways and all great change has come against opposition.’
    • ‘It is vital in the fight against crime that the public is able to trust law enforcement officials.’
    • ‘A town centre has been awarded safer shopping status in recognition of its fight against crime.’
    • ‘That's a very European idea, which needs to fight against a tough tide of facts for survival.’
    • ‘The sooner serious and public action is taken against organised crime, the better.’
    • ‘He said they were up against opposition from some people who were concerned at the damage done to the hillside.’
    • ‘Just why a public body should set itself up to start a fight against its own public is a mystery to me but they sure have a fight on their hands now!’
    • ‘We also need the respect of the general public in the fight against crime and drugs.’
    • ‘In fact we have publicly challenged and argued against those of his ideas we disagree with.’
    • ‘But he said they were an important weapon in the fight against terrorism and organised crime.’
    opposed to, in opposition to, hostile to, averse to, antagonistic towards, inimical to, unsympathetic to, resistant to, at odds with, in disagreement with, contra
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    1. 1.1In opposition to, with reference to legal action.
      ‘allegations against police officers’
      ‘the first victim gave evidence against him’
      • ‘A Home Office spokesman said today a decision had not yet been made on whether to appeal against the decision.’
      • ‘We will not tolerate abuse of staff who are simply trying to do their job and we will take legal action against residents who do this.’
      • ‘The employee should get a written explanation of this and must be told that he or she has the right to appeal against your decision.’
      • ‘It was not the first time the company had appealed against a decision.’
      • ‘Unlike England, the poor had the right of legal appeal against the denial of relief.’
      • ‘Those who ignore the zone can be reported to trading standards officers who might take legal action against them.’
      • ‘Arthur's legal action against the police, believed to be over pension rights, is continuing.’
      • ‘Pharmacy representatives have until Saturday May 7 to appeal against the decision.’
      • ‘He has no right to appeal against deportation but under a legal loophole can appeal against the destination.’
      • ‘With no thought for their own safety, the women took a decision to give evidence against their tormentors in court.’
      • ‘They held an urgent meeting last week to consider taking legal action against the police.’
      • ‘It is understood there have been no threats of legal action against them from the victims' families.’
      • ‘His lawyers have been instructed to begin legal action against the newspaper.’
      • ‘He is considering legal action against the FBI and has discussed his case with a lawyer friend in Cape Town.’
      • ‘However, that was refused and they did not appeal against the decision.’
      • ‘An officer cannot appeal against a decision for an allegation to be formally investigated.’
      • ‘There is no automatic appeal procedure against the adjudicator's decision.’
      • ‘An appeal against the council's decision was turned down two months later.’
      • ‘But the pub is appealing against the decision and is allowed to continue trading in the meantime.’
      • ‘But the objectors believe that the mobile phone company is to appeal against the decision.’
    2. 1.2In opposition to, with reference to an athletic contest.
      ‘the championship game against Virginia’
      • ‘The remaining 17 games include matches against all the other sides in the bottom eight.’
      • ‘It is to these moments that the team would be looking tonight in this crucial game against Costa Rica.’
      • ‘What I am concentrating on now is the first match against the world champions Germany.’
      • ‘It was the Czechs' seventh win in nine world championship games against its neighbor.’
      • ‘Their whole season rests on a home contest against Bolton on Saturday April 17.’
      • ‘But now all he wants to do is get home before the Whites big match against Manchester City this weekend.’
      • ‘Their final contest will be against the loser of the final of each respective other table.’
      • ‘The match against Coleraine this Saturday gives him the perfect opportunity to do this.’
      • ‘Five weeks of club games and disrupted training sessions prefaced their match against Limerick.’
      • ‘Obviously injuries may be picked up in their Boxing Day game against Portsmouth, so keep one eye on that match.’
      • ‘The team were very nervous in their opening matches against Israel and Portugal.’
      • ‘United started well against Portsmouth and the game was over after 16 minutes.’
      • ‘I am optimistic that we have the tools to mount a reasonable contest against the midfield teams this year.’
      • ‘Saturday's game against Altrincham was a tense affair with everyone knowing a win could clinch us the title.’
      • ‘The team won five matches and only dropped one game for the round against Navy in the lead up to the finals.’
      • ‘His mother recalls watching that thrilling doubles match against the Israeli champions.’
      • ‘There is no doubt that the match against Italy in a fortnight's time is a huge game for us.’
      • ‘We may have lost the match against Brazil but the game has helped to save the life of a local man.’
      • ‘In the last game against Brisbane he lacked match fitness and failed to make a contribution.’
      • ‘I think after the England game we had gone into the match against Italy with a little trepidation.’
  • 2In anticipation of and preparation for (a problem or difficulty)

    ‘insurance against sickness and unemployment’
    • ‘It covers your repayments against accident, sickness, involuntary unemployment.’
    • ‘She clenched her teeth against the pain that flooded through her and tried to calm down.’
    • ‘Groaning and biting her teeth against the pain she pushed herself to her knees.’
    • ‘During the Second World War the defences were rescarped against tank attack.’
    • ‘Gritting his teeth against the agony, he slowly turned his head to look at Danny.’
    • ‘They thus gave permission for them to take out insurance against damage suffered.’
    • ‘Daniel gritted his teeth against the overwhelming sensations that were taking hold of him.’
    • ‘Uranium was used to shield tanks against attack by conventional armour-piercing weapons.’
    • ‘The film shows how she and her mother battled against her learning difficulties.’
    • ‘How could the government especially appear so defenseless against a direct attack?’
    • ‘He closed his eyes and let his power surge through him, gritting his teeth against the torrent.’
    • ‘He says his action has stalled because he will not go to court without insurance against the possibility of losing.’
    • ‘It is, for the time being, a great insurance against any terrorist attack.’
    • ‘Brushing at night is important as it protects teeth against acid attack while you are asleep.’
    • ‘It was my insurance against fate, and I had to make sure that nobody would take it away.’
    • ‘Artists may join a union from which they receive insurance against unemployment.’
    • ‘In which case, would it not be prudent to take out some insurance against the event?’
    • ‘By the way, a large number of cyclists carry insurance against third party claims.’
    • ‘Claire gritted her teeth against the pain, a high, keen sound escaping her lips.’
    in case of, as provision for, in provision for, in preparation for, in anticipation of, in expectation of
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1In resistance to; as protection from.
      ‘he turned up his collar against the wind’
      • ‘A curtain has been fixed at the eastern end of the shelter as a protection against the driving wind and rain.’
      • ‘Some people have a strong resistance against the flu virus, while it caused others to die.’
      • ‘Rounded towers and thick bulwarks provided maximum protection against the siege engines of that era.’
      • ‘The only other protection against the elements was a 2ft high wall at the back of the shelter.’
      • ‘The skin is constantly hydrated and has protection against line-producing dehydration.’
      • ‘Protection against winter cold will give some plants in the garden a better chance of making it through to the spring.’
      • ‘The best protection against loss, damage or injury due to wildfire is prevention.’
      • ‘He had a brown suede jacket with light brown denim pants, his collar was turned up against the wind.’
      • ‘How does she pick a male whose genetic complement confers protection against disease?’
      • ‘Not only will they be unable to use parasols for protection against the sun, they will not be allowed to take in food or drink.’
      • ‘The roof of the cabin has been engineered to provide protection against head injuries in the event of a collision.’
      • ‘Without protection of the sails against a merciless sun, it became unbearable on deck.’
      • ‘It says the crop residue holds soil in place and protects it against wind and rain.’
      • ‘As to the protection against lightning, there is not much difference between the two.’
      • ‘Vines are trained on low bushes as protection against the strong winds.’
      • ‘I've repotted my ornamental grass into a deeper pot, to give it better protection against drying out.’
      • ‘Well saved turf was the only protection the family had against cold and disease in winter.’
      • ‘Again the opportunity to identify the importance of protection against cold for survivors at sea was missed.’
      • ‘The early poncho was worn by men of all classes as a garment for protection against the rain and cold.’
      • ‘Currently, parents wanting protection against polio are offered oral vaccinations.’
      to protect oneself from, in resistance to
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    2. 2.2In relation to (an amount of money owed or due) so as to reduce or cancel it.
      ‘money was advanced against the value of the property’
      • ‘Furthermore, many clubs have borrowed money against future season ticket sales.’
      • ‘Negative equity occurs when the loan secured against a property is greater than the value of the property itself.’
      • ‘Think long and hard about borrowing money against the roof over your head.’
      • ‘Mortgage interest will be allowable against rental income and VAT is recoverable.’
      • ‘The one major advantage property does have is that it's much easier to borrow money against it.’
      • ‘Those loans will often be secured against the value of the property on which the advances are being made.’
      • ‘The family wanted to use the farmhouse against borrowing money to buy further farm land.’
      • ‘Investors who plough money in these schemes can offset rental income against tax.’
      • ‘Housing associations would be able to secure bank loans against the properties to carry out repairs.’
      • ‘Invoice financing is similar to factoring, where banks lend against sales and money owed by debtors.’
      • ‘Arrange an expensive short-term loan secured against these properties until they are sold.’
      • ‘In a recent article, we wrote about the dangers of borrowing money against your home.’
      • ‘That way co-buyers can choose to top up items which are almost ready to be bought, or start a new item with no money against it.’
      • ‘In the Eighties, tax breaks were offered against money invested in tree plantations.’
      • ‘He must carry forward the unused part of his limit for set off against his income in the following year.’
      • ‘Landlords can offset the interest they pay on their mortgage against rental income to reduce the amount of tax they pay.’
      • ‘I have recently taken out a loan secured against my property, so am I going to regret it?’
      • ‘This has resulted in massive volume growth in lending against rising asset values.’
      • ‘Your home may be at risk if you do not keep up payments on a mortgage or any other loan secured against it.’
      • ‘It has also been reported that some institutions may even lend against a work of art to buy more art!’
    3. 2.3(in betting) in anticipation of the failure of.
      ‘the odds were 5–1 against Pittsburgh’
      • ‘The crowd gasped again, and there was a happy cry from the one man who had bet against me.’
      • ‘Would anyone bet against Real Madrid reaching the latter stages if they were pitched into the World Cup?’
      • ‘This is not really a poker game, in that players do not bet against each other.’
      • ‘The former champion will be the runaway favourite for Le Tour again this year - and few would bet against him.’
      • ‘And who's betting against the team adding a new chapter to the story this weekend?’
      • ‘United will be very strong favourites to win this cup and a strong man would bet against them.’
      • ‘If they do win, it really will be a magnificent team performance but I would not bet against Wigan in this.’
      • ‘Who would bet against Penrith not overtaking Aspatria next season as Cumbria's Number Two club?’
      • ‘While there will be even more chances to bet, the odds are against even more punters winning.’
      • ‘He did, truth to be told, bet against Liverpool but it was a wager we were happy to lose.’
      • ‘If they continue in this vein it will be a brave man who bets against them winning a fourth successive title.’
      • ‘From August the odds each month against winning the jackpot are 13 billion to one for each bond.’
      • ‘He has already won 21 races and few would bet against that number increasing in the season to come.’
      • ‘Who would bet against him adding Olympic gold to his Tour de France crown.’
      • ‘If the player does not wish to bet against the second card, a third card can be called for at the same price.’
      • ‘This is because gold is not only seen as a hedge against the dollar, but as a financial bet against inflation too.’
      • ‘I think there were people who bet against him yesterday who were cheering him past the post.’
      • ‘Betting exchanges allow people to bet against each other person-to-person over the internet.’
      • ‘Given the performance of semiconductor stocks in the past year, who wants to bet against him?’
      • ‘Byrd is favored but people have gone to the poor house betting against Evander Holyfield.’
  • 3In or into physical contact with (something), typically so as to be supported by or collide with it.

    ‘she stood with her back against the door’
    ‘his lips brushed against her hair’
    • ‘Neighbours then heard an argument, the sounds of somebody being pushed against a wall and banging doors.’
    • ‘She was grabbed by the hair, pushed against the wall and had her head banged several times by the accused.’
    • ‘The man finally stops his kicking and he grabs me by my hair and slams me against the wall.’
    • ‘He said the man grabbed hold of him and banged his back against a low garden wall four or five times.’
    • ‘It banged against the wall with a resounding thud that echoed through the ship.’
    • ‘This is done by cutting off all fruited canes at the base and untangling new growth and tying it to supports against the wall or fence.’
    • ‘She banged her head lightly against the wall and heard the ringing noise of metal.’
    • ‘She slowly crawled over to the right of the door, leaned up against the wall, and brought her knees to her chest.’
    • ‘The door was slammed hard against the wall, sending it rocking on its hinges.’
    • ‘The delegation heard that one inmate had complained that his head was repeatedly banged against a wall by an officer.’
    • ‘In other incidents I have received bruises, a sprained thumb and had my head banged against a wall.’
    • ‘After one last, warning crush, he let go, my frame slumping against the wall for support.’
    • ‘She put out a hand against the wall for support, and took several soothing breaths.’
    • ‘To help keep the plant in check, it is best grown in a container and the stems trained against a support.’
    • ‘It is helpful here to perform the postures against a support such as a wall.’
    • ‘There was another thump, and then something banged up against the door to her lab.’
    • ‘The police Sergeant said a man grabbed her by the hair and pinned her against the wall.’
    • ‘He held my head in his lap so I couldn't bang it against the wall, and he wrapped his arms around me and held me.’
    • ‘I can relate to that desire to light a wood fire and sleep against the ground and watch the stars and the coming light.’
    • ‘Rocky almost knocked him out when he burst in the house, slamming the door against he wall.’
    touching, in contact with, close up to, up against, abutting, on, adjacent to
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  • 4In conceptual contrast to.

    ‘the benefits must be weighed against the costs’
    ‘the instilling of habits as against the development of understanding’
    • ‘These considerations must be weighed against the harm to the man as a result of testing.’
    • ‘However, this must also be weighed up against the standard of medical care available.’
    • ‘Having to make decisions can be stressful, because you have to weigh one option against another.’
    • ‘This has to be weighed against the cost of redeeming early and the fees that often accompany taking out a new deal.’
    • ‘The risks of taking medicine have to be weighed against the risks of depression.’
    • ‘The benefits of this approach must be weighed against the morbidity of the procedure.’
    • ‘Businesses say the advantages of trading with Europe have to be weighed against the increased cost of red tape.’
    • ‘The harm of ending an incipient life must be weighed against the consequences for society.’
    • ‘The benefits of overthrow must of course be weighed against the horrific costs of war.’
    • ‘The various institutions which affect opportunity must be weighed against each other.’
    • ‘The need to be met is not weighed against other needs in such a way as to order a phasing of the process.’
    • ‘But the huge provision of liquidity by the Federal Reserve could weigh against the dollar.’
    • ‘Vaccinations are expensive and costs must be weighed up against the risks involved.’
    • ‘Once again the advantages and disadvantages have to be weighed against each other.’
    • ‘Weighing against this are the potential inflation effects of the weak dollar.’
    • ‘The doctor said the benefits of any radiotherapy had to be weighed against the risks of the treatment.’
    • ‘But this long-term view has to be weighed against all the work that needs to be undertaken now.’
    • ‘If you weigh that against good behaviour for the last year does that warrant releasing him into the public?’
    1. 4.1In visual contrast to.
      ‘he was silhouetted against the light of the window’
      • ‘Behind us, a small silhouette against a light grey sky was the castle.’
      • ‘Silhouetted against the afterglow, these fiercest of hawks formed an impressive picture.’
      • ‘Others climbed high, silhouetted against the sky, before returning to the marsh.’
      • ‘They were monolithic silhouettes against the summer night, sharing the fate of all buildings.’
      • ‘All but one of the boilers remained in position, silhouetted against the green water and ambient light.’
      • ‘They said one firework looked like a traffic light but he could see none of the colours against the night sky.’
      • ‘Black clouds obscure flashes of orange light against the night sky in the city.’
      • ‘Gaze up at the horizon and see the silhouette of the fort against the night sky.’
      • ‘The first thing we see on stage is the old lady in her rocking chair silhouetted against a window.’
      • ‘With the cirrus they created a faint lattice of white against light blue.’
      • ‘Eight mounted figures appeared on the other ridge, silhouetted against the sky.’
      • ‘The little one stands at the entrance to the cave, her form black against the light of the full moon.’
      • ‘It was silhouetted against the flames and it looked like a huge rocket.’
      • ‘Its benign silhouette squats against the southern sky like some fat Buddha.’
      • ‘I set up behind a thick screen of rushes, staying low so that I wasn't silhouetted against the sky.’
      • ‘It was not quite dark and the lights looked really cool against the dark blue.’
      • ‘We walked out of the station and I looked up at the city walls, silhouetted against the darkening evening sky.’
      • ‘Mai appeared at the door, silhouetted against the brighter light from the other room.’
      • ‘Its silhouette against the sky is unique, the sound of its engine unmistakable.’
      • ‘The stern grey walls of the city were silhouetted against the flaming sky as the sun set.’
      in contrast to, as a foil to
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  • have something against someone

    • Dislike or bear a grudge against someone.

      ‘I have nothing against you personally’
      • ‘She said: ‘I don't know anyone who would have a grudge against me and want to do this.’’
      • ‘It was just malicious damage, so it looks like somebody has a grudge against him.’
      • ‘She was anxious that I should not have a grudge against the country, but I was already feeling quite at home.’
      • ‘The chief engineer said: We don't know if the culprit has a grudge against us or whether it is simply vandalism.’
      • ‘I can't think of anyone at all that has a grudge against us and I have no idea if it's the same person or different people each time.’
      • ‘I think it must be someone who wants us out of the area or has a grudge against us but we're not moving anywhere.’
      • ‘I just wanted to tell her that I didn't have any grudges against her!’
      • ‘But, just for the record, I really don't have any grudge against you, so don't take it personally.’
      • ‘He told police in interviews that his victim could have been anybody and he had no grudge against the man.’
      • ‘‘Somebody obviously has a grudge against us,’ she said.’


Middle English: from again + -s (adverbial genitive) + -t probably by association with superlatives (as in amongst).