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’
    • ‘Responsibility for providing services at the airport is shared between the airport and the airline.’
    • ‘She went back to her job as a teacher while I stayed at home with Louise.’
    • ‘He made his first professional stage appearance in George Bernard Shaw's ‘The Devil's Disciple’ at the Gaiety Theatre.’
    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’
    • ‘William appeared at half-past twelve.’
    • ‘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.’
    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.’
      • ‘It is important that people going out in London can get home safely at night, by public transport, black cab or licensed minicab.’
      • ‘If you know of someone who is thinking of purchasing a rabbit at Easter, let them know it's a bad idea.’
      • ‘At Christmas we're always surrounded by lots of lovely food and drink.’
    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 university that he became politically active.’
      • ‘It was at school that I began to play chess with my friend Brian.’
      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’
    • ‘Prices start at £145 for 3 nights for 2 people for our winter weekends in Keeper's Cottage.’
    • ‘Water boils at one hundred degrees Celsius and at this point changes phase to become a gas, or steam.’
    • ‘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’
      • ‘Retirement at sixty-five is ridiculous.’
      • ‘At forty-five, he ran for the Senate and lost.’
      • ‘At twenty-one both males and females obtain their full legal rights, and become liable to all legal obligations.’
  • 4Expressing a particular state or condition.

    ‘placed them at a serious disadvantage’
    ‘the coroner accepted that the machines were at fault’
    • ‘That way I can record shows and listen to them at my leisure.’
    • ‘Candidates with exposure to international trade and two years of editorial/writing experience in the electronics/computer industry would be at an advantage.’
    • ‘I could not be really happy or be at peace living like that.’
    • ‘People in lighter vehicles are at a disadvantage in collisions with heavier vehicles.’
    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’
    • ‘As he entered the clubhouse he glanced at the pictures of famous yachts that hang on the walls.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘How old was your baby when she smiled at you for the first time?’
    • ‘At the same moment, they shone a torch at me to identify me.’
    1. 5.1 Expressing the target of a shot from a weapon.
      ‘they tore down the main street, firing at anyone in sight’
      • ‘The snipers were two individuals shooting randomly at anyone.’
      • ‘Police arrested a man for allegedly shooting at another patron during a fight at a bar on State Street Tuesday evening.’
    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’
      • ‘Briars and thorns tore at my legs.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘An alert tabby cat saved an Australian family of four from a house fire by clawing at its owner's face.’
  • 6Expressing the means by which something is done.

    ‘holding a corrections officer at knifepoint’
    figurative ‘her pride had taken a beating at his hands’
    • ‘Our men are dying at the hands of enemies abroad and friends at home.’
    • ‘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.’

Phrases

  • at it

    • Engaged in some activity, typically a reprehensible one.

      ‘oh dear, they are at it again’
      • ‘They were at it again in 2001 and have been doing it since the beginning of this year too.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I came outside and she was having a rough time at it, mostly because she had no idea what she was doing.’
      • ‘And could she not have done that while she was at it?’
  • at that

    • In addition; furthermore.

      ‘it was not fog but smoke, and very thick at that’
      • ‘So, the Tate is at least making an effort to display more art, and a big, expensive one at that.’
      • ‘We now live in a country where citizens can be executed without trial, and by a foreign government at that.’
      • ‘Instead of thunder, the company had been struck by a need to change the cast, and no minor change at that.’
      • ‘We are the kind of people, he thought, who buy their own furniture and second-hand at that.’
      • ‘All a matter of opinion, of course, and in the cases of Randall and Morris, an educated opinion at that.’
      • ‘All the time a game of football was being played, and a pretty good one 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.’
      • ‘When she fell pregnant, Sara was hoping she would be having twins - and girls 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!’
  • 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.’
      • ‘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!’
      • ‘I'm a huge, huge fan of festivals, so that's where it's at for me this summer.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As we used to say in the Sixties, wherever Zandra Rhodes is, is where it's at.’
      • ‘It's understandable that the food police might object to an article suggesting that bread and potatoes are not where it's at.’
      • ‘Italian markets really are where it's at because everything is seasonal and it's mostly organic.’
      • ‘Juice is good too, but water, baby, that's 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.’
      • ‘What we are doing is we are going with the youth; we are going with the people who know where it's at.’
      • ‘Everyone is talking about California - it's so where it's at, I think.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But locals here realize that tourism is where it's at for them.’
      • ‘As nice as it is to be liked by your home country, to Canadians, international success is where it's at.’
      • ‘If everyone can be skinny, thin won't be in, but fat will start being 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.’
      • ‘Presidents and dignitaries have worn his designs, but Iwan Tirta says home is really where it's at.’
      • ‘Twisted denim is where it's at, for women and men.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘So that's where my head is at these days.’

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

/ät//ɑt/

Main definitions of at in English

: at1at2At3

At3

  • The chemical element astatine.