Main definitions of at in English

: at1at2At3

at1

preposition

  • 1Expressing location or arrival in a particular place or position.

    ‘they live at Conway House’
    ‘they stopped at a small trattoria’
    ‘she was constantly at the telex machine’
    • ‘He made his first professional stage appearance in George Bernard Shaw's ‘The Devil's Disciple’ at the Gaiety Theatre.’
    • ‘She went back to her job as a teacher while I stayed at home with Louise.’
    • ‘Responsibility for providing services at the airport is shared between the airport and the airline.’
    1. 1.1 Used in speech to indicate the sign @ in email addresses, separating the address holder's name from their location.
      • ‘Please send mail to zzsmith1 at strangemail dot net.’
  • 2Expressing the time when an event takes place.

    ‘the children go to bed at nine o'clock’
    ‘his death came at a time when the movement was split’
    • ‘In the United States, more than 10,000 retailers across the country are opening their doors at midnight tonight solely to sell copies of the game and accessories.’
    • ‘There will be a complete blackout tonight at eleven o'clock.’
    • ‘William appeared at half-past twelve.’
    1. 2.1without adjective Denoting a particular period of time.
      ‘the sea is cooler at night’
      • ‘Schools should lock children in at lunchtime to boost take-up of canteen meals, a catering expert claimed yesterday.’
      • ‘At Christmas we're always surrounded by lots of lovely food and drink.’
      • ‘If you know of someone who is thinking of purchasing a rabbit at Easter, let them know it's a bad idea.’
      • ‘It is important that people going out in London can get home safely at night, by public transport, black cab or licensed minicab.’
    2. 2.2without adjective Denoting the time spent by someone attending an educational institution, a workplace, or their home.
      ‘we all need to get involved in fighting crime whether it's at work, at home, or at school’
      • ‘It was at school that I began to play chess with my friend Brian.’
      • ‘It was at university that he became politically active.’
      no later than, in good time for, at, before
      View synonyms
  • 3Denoting a particular point or segment on a scale.

    ‘prices start at $18,500’
    ‘driving at 50 mph’
    • ‘Water boils at one hundred degrees Celsius and at this point changes phase to become a gas, or steam.’
    • ‘Prices start at £145 for 3 nights for 2 people for our winter weekends in Keeper's Cottage.’
    • ‘Electrons move at a speed of a few kilometres per second through a circuit, whereas light travels at nearly 300,000 kilometres per second.’
    1. 3.1 Referring to someone's age.
      ‘at fourteen he began to work as a mailman’
      • ‘At twenty-one both males and females obtain their full legal rights, and become liable to all legal obligations.’
      • ‘At forty-five, he ran for the Senate and lost.’
      • ‘Retirement at sixty-five is ridiculous.’
  • 4Expressing a particular state or condition.

    ‘placed them at a serious disadvantage’
    ‘the coroner accepted that the machines were at fault’
    • ‘Candidates with exposure to international trade and two years of editorial/writing experience in the electronics/computer industry would be at an advantage.’
    • ‘People in lighter vehicles are at a disadvantage in collisions with heavier vehicles.’
    • ‘That way I can record shows and listen to them at my leisure.’
    • ‘I could not be really happy or be at peace living like that.’
    1. 4.1 Expressing a relationship between an individual and a skill.
      ‘boxing was the only sport I was any good at’
      ‘he is poor at giving instructions’
      • ‘Women are said to be poor at reading maps.’
      • ‘You're still going to need to be really good at what you do just to accomplish that.’
      • ‘I was never any good at sports.’
  • 5Expressing the object of a look, gesture, thought, action, or plan.

    ‘I looked at my watch’
    ‘Leslie pointed at him’
    • ‘A new credit card aimed at millions of low-income families is to charge interest at up to 70% - the highest ever charged by a credit card company.’
    • ‘As he entered the clubhouse he glanced at the pictures of famous yachts that hang on the walls.’
    • ‘At the same moment, they shone a torch at me to identify me.’
    • ‘How old was your baby when she smiled at you for the first time?’
    1. 5.1 Expressing the target of a shot from a weapon.
      ‘they tore down the main street, firing at anyone in sight’
      • ‘Police arrested a man for allegedly shooting at another patron during a fight at a bar on State Street Tuesday evening.’
      • ‘The snipers were two individuals shooting randomly at anyone.’
    2. 5.2 Emphasizing the directing of an action toward a specified object.
      ‘she clutched at the thin gown’
      ‘he hit at her face with the gun’
      • ‘An alert tabby cat saved an Australian family of four from a house fire by clawing at its owner's face.’
      • ‘A homeless man accused of trying to steal a hat at a convenience store battled three deputies in a brawl, grabbed at a deputy's handgun and had to be shocked with a stun gun twice before he was arrested, according to a Marion sheriff's report.’
      • ‘Briars and thorns tore at my legs.’
  • 6Expressing the means by which something is done.

    ‘holding a corrections officer at knifepoint’
    figurative ‘her pride had taken a beating at his hands’
    • ‘Two University of Minnesota students lost wallets, cash and cell phones, but otherwise were unhurt when they were robbed at gunpoint on campus Wednesday night, police said.’
    • ‘Our men are dying at the hands of enemies abroad and friends at home.’

Phrases

  • at it

    • Engaged in some activity, typically a reprehensible one.

      ‘oh dear, they are at it again’
      • ‘And could she not have done that while she was at it?’
      • ‘That he is still at it must mean that Smith has either led a charmed life these past years or else he is made of steel.’
      • ‘While you're at it, it's a good idea to tackle cold frames as well, both inside and out.’
      • ‘They were at it again in 2001 and have been doing it since the beginning of this year too.’
      • ‘I came outside and she was having a rough time at it, mostly because she had no idea what she was doing.’
  • at that

    • In addition; furthermore.

      ‘it was not fog but smoke, and very thick at that’
      • ‘When she fell pregnant, Sara was hoping she would be having twins - and girls at that.’
      • ‘All a matter of opinion, of course, and in the cases of Randall and Morris, an educated opinion at that.’
      • ‘She let out such a yelp and it was no wonder, as Tom had nothing on but a shirt and it wasn't too long at that!’
      • ‘No, this shore is not a destination for me; it is just a refuge, and a temporary one at that.’
      • ‘London looks set to receive a new evening paper soon, and a free one at that.’
      • ‘All the time a game of football was being played, and a pretty good one at that.’
      • ‘We now live in a country where citizens can be executed without trial, and by a foreign government at that.’
      • ‘We are the kind of people, he thought, who buy their own furniture and second-hand at that.’
      • ‘So, the Tate is at least making an effort to display more art, and a big, expensive one at that.’
      • ‘Instead of thunder, the company had been struck by a need to change the cast, and no minor change at that.’
  • where it's at

    • informal The fashionable place, possession, or activity.

      ‘New York is where it's at, stylewise’
      • ‘‘This is where it's at,’ said one of the prime minister's closest advisors.’
      • ‘There are a lot of clues pointing you in the right direction, but nobody just tells you where it's at.’
      • ‘The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has plenty of money to give out, but collecting and interpreting the artefacts of human history is just not where it's at.’
      • ‘What we are doing is we are going with the youth; we are going with the people who know where it's at.’
      • ‘Europe is where it's at, home of the UEFA Champions' League, a powerbase for the game globally, and a workplace for the planet's most talented players.’
      • ‘Presidents and dignitaries have worn his designs, but Iwan Tirta says home is really where it's at.’
      • ‘But locals here realize that tourism is where it's at for them.’
      • ‘As we used to say in the Sixties, wherever Zandra Rhodes is, is where it's at.’
      • ‘Juice is good too, but water, baby, that's where it's at.’
      • ‘If everyone can be skinny, thin won't be in, but fat will start being where it's at.’
      • ‘Celebrating all things multidisciplinary, the first ever Vasistas festival is here to show us all that multi-tasking art is where it's at.’
      • ‘As nice as it is to be liked by your home country, to Canadians, international success is where it's at.’
      • ‘Italian markets really are where it's at because everything is seasonal and it's mostly organic.’
      • ‘Everyone is talking about California - it's so where it's at, I think.’
      • ‘If you prefer loafers or moccasins, you'll also have a chance to prove your fashion sense this summer, but sandals are really where it's at.’
      • ‘I'm a huge, huge fan of festivals, so that's where it's at for me this summer.’
      • ‘It's understandable that the food police might object to an article suggesting that bread and potatoes are not where it's at.’
      • ‘Twisted denim is where it's at, for women and men.’
      • ‘All things Norwegian seem to be where it's at at the minute.’
      • ‘And they end up drinking the same drink, in the company of the same people, fondly imagining that because they moved through several pubs, this is really where it's at!’
      • ‘There is evidence, though, that the young have become so seduced by the celebrity culture that their only ambition is to be famous and that working for a living is not where it's at.’
  • where someone is at

    • informal Someone's true or fundamental nature or character.

      ‘I think we've got enough information to have an idea of where he's at’
      • ‘So that's where my head is at these days.’
      • ‘The first bit is exactly where my thinking is at.’
      • ‘This is Rethel's most precise determination of who and where he is at that moment.’

Origin

Old English æt, of Germanic origin; related to Old Frisian et and Old Norse at, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin ad ‘to’.

Pronunciation

Main definitions of at in English

: at1at2At3

at2

noun

  • A monetary unit of Laos, equal to one hundredth of a kip.

Origin

Thai.

Pronunciation

at

/ɑt//ät/

Main definitions of at in English

: at1at2At3

At3

  • The chemical element astatine.