Definition of OF in English:


  • Old French.

Definition of of in English:



  • 1Expressing the relationship between a part and a whole.

    ‘the sleeve of his coat’
    ‘in the back of the car’
    ‘the days of the week’
    ‘a series of programs’
    [with mass noun] ‘a piece of cake’
    ‘a lot of money’
  • 2Expressing the relationship between a scale or measure and a value.

    ‘an increase of 5 percent’
    ‘a height of 10 feet’
    • ‘Male lions can attain a weight of up to 225 kg.’
    • ‘The shares responded with a fall of 117.5p to 185p.’
    • ‘Apple trees normally grow to a height of 20 to 30 feet.’
    • ‘The rise represents an increase of 36 per cent over three years.’
    1. 2.1Expressing an age.
      ‘a boy of fifteen’
      • ‘For a baby of only three months, she was remarkably heavy.’
      • ‘A thin woman stepped out of another room, a baby of six or seven months balanced on her hip.’
      • ‘Almost 40 years ago, as a boy of ten, I was subjected to persistent bullying at a new school.’
      • ‘He was a man of middle age, tall with brown hair.’
  • 3Indicating an association between two entities, typically one of belonging.

    ‘the son of a friend’
    ‘the government of India’
    ‘a photograph of the bride’
    [with a possessive] ‘a former colleague of John's’
    • ‘Detective Superintendent Parkinson said they were keen to trace the owner of a black car parked outside the West End Bar.’
    • ‘On the cover was a photograph of an elderly couple, a man standing behind a lady with his arms wrapped tightly around her.’
    • ‘He was wearing an old black silk shirt of Andy's, which was far too big for him.’
    • ‘The waitress who greeted me when I arrived turned out to be a former colleague of mine.’
    • ‘Kevin was an old friend of Ryan's’
    • ‘He was about five years older than me but I knew him as he was the son of one of my mum's friends’
    • ‘Back in the early 1960s, the government of Italy decided to set up an agency to regulate the production of wines.’
    • ‘He is the director of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties.’
    • ‘Any strategy based on a reduction of the role of the qualified teacher is potentially disastrous.’
    by, made by, done by, carried out by, caused by, from, in, of
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    1. 3.1Expressing the relationship between an author, artist, or composer and their works collectively.
      ‘the plays of Shakespeare’
      ‘the paintings of Rembrandt’
      • ‘His mother sang and played the songs of Cole Porter and Jerome Kern’
      • ‘Music inspired by the plays of Shakespeare was the theme for Saturday night's 10th anniversary concert.’
      • ‘If you've heard the symphonies of Elgar, Walton and Vaughan Williams, these should certainly be next on your list.’
      • ‘At about this time Correggio travelled to Rome where he must have studied classical works and the paintings of Raphael and Michelangelo.’
      • ‘Byzantium stands as an important symbol in the poems of Yeats.’
  • 4Expressing the relationship between a direction and a point of reference.

    ‘north of Chicago’
    ‘on the left of the picture’
    • ‘The property is around 30 miles south of London and is near Gatwick Airport.’
    • ‘He grew up in Encinitas, a small beach town just north of San Diego.’
    • ‘Kentucky is the largest beef-producing state east of the Mississippi.’
    • ‘The familiar chimneys of the main railway offices can be seen at the back, on the left of the picture.’
  • 5Expressing the relationship between a general category or type and the thing being specified which belongs to such a category.

    ‘the city of Prague’
    ‘the idea of a just society’
    ‘the set of all genes’
    ‘this type of book’
    • ‘Each building will be clearly marked on a map of the city.’
    • ‘I like the idea of marriage as a life-long commitment.’
    • ‘This Government is sending a very clear and unequivocal message to the people of New Zealand.’
    • ‘According to myth, the city of Rome was founded by twin brothers, Romulus and Remus, in 753 BC.’
    • ‘She also said that the issue of education had come up again and again during her consultations with voters.’
    • ‘He let out a muffled cry of pain and fell to his knees.’
    • ‘It was a packed house, with people of all ages enjoying a brilliant night out.’
    • ‘Her mother was an attractive woman of French-Canadian descent.’
    • ‘Two thirds of the artists were of Jewish backgrounds.’
    • ‘There is a serious problem with this type of book.’
  • 6Expressing the relationship between an abstract concept having a verb-like meaning and a noun denoting the subject of the underlying verb.

    ‘the opinion of the directors’
    1. 6.1Where the second noun denotes the object of the underlying verb.
      ‘the murder of two boys’
      ‘payment of his debts’
      ‘an admirer of Edith Wharton's work’
    2. 6.2Where the head of the phrase is a predicative adjective.
      ‘it was kind of you to ask’
      ‘I am certain of that’
  • 7Indicating the relationship between a verb and an indirect object.

    1. 7.1With a verb expressing a mental state.
      ‘they must be persuaded of the severity of the problem’
      ‘I don't know of anything that would be suitable’
      • ‘What do you think of the result of today's meeting?’
      • ‘I couldn't figure out a way to convince him of my love.’
      • ‘Do you know of any grants, scholarships, or programs designed to help someone in my position?’
      • ‘It's a fantastic achievement, particularly when you think of the competition we were up against.’
      • ‘There is a high proportion of this electorate who are not persuaded of his leadership abilities.’
    2. 7.2Expressing a cause.
      ‘he died of cancer’
      • ‘He died of a heart attack at the age of 58.’
  • 8Indicating the material or substance constituting something.

    ‘the house was built of bricks’
    ‘walls of stone’
    • ‘They lived in a simple house with bamboo walls and a roof made of coconut leaves.’
    • ‘The bungalows are built of wood, concrete, and brick.’
    • ‘The furniture included a forties dresser, an oval sixties coffee table and two much newer Scandinavian-style bookcases of unvarnished pine.’
    • ‘Pale walls of sand-colored stone encircled the town.’
    • ‘The original buildings were constructed of timber and stone masonry, covered with white-washed plaster.’
  • 9North American Expressing time in relation to the following hour.

    ‘it would be just a quarter of three in New York’
    • ‘I'd love to stay here with you, but it's ten of two.’
    • ‘I want you home by quarter of five because your grandma's coming for dinner at five.’
    • ‘We were still eating supper when Gabe knocked on the door at quarter of eight.’


It is a mistake to use of instead of have in constructions such as you should have asked (not you should of asked). For more information, see have


Old English, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch af and German ab, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin ab and Greek apo.