Definition of without in English:



  • 1In the absence of.

    ‘he went to Sweden without her’
    • ‘How many shows do you think Alex played in his life outside of Montreal without Carlos?’
    • ‘In that case there was smoke without fire, and in May he walked free from court.’
    • ‘Others never venture into the outside world without a chaperone.’
    • ‘My husband's big breakfast arrived without the eggs.’
    • ‘I later recovered the holdall, without the money and saleable items, but with the club records intact.’
    • ‘I believe there is no smoke without fire.’
    • ‘Ideally, they should be allowed to work without any form of outside undue pressure.’
    • ‘This allegation has been denied by the club but in the absence of smoke without fire, it must be considered a possibility.’
    • ‘She was going to be late for work so she left without him and wasn't happy.’
    • ‘The Prince came without the men, money and guns that he had been expressly told that he needed.’
    • ‘The child must now start its life in the outside world without parents at its shoulder.’
    unaccompanied by, unescorted by
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    1. 1.1 Not having the use or benefit of.
      ‘the first person to make the ascent without oxygen’
      • ‘He has been able to get around his home with a stick but cannot manage outside without a wheel-chair.’
      • ‘She even promised to give him anything he wanted if he went without meat for a week.’
      • ‘The next day, he said, she reappeared, said she could not live without the children and would he object if she took them.’
      • ‘American soldiers are now rarely seen outside their vehicles without helicopter and tank support.’
      • ‘True, it is hard for a monk not to touch money and to live without the comforts of this world.’
      • ‘They live in rented accommodation without a car and are saving money, for a better life back home.’
      • ‘This is not the only fire to be reported at a property without a fitted smoke detector in recent weeks.’
      • ‘Is this something I could live without and still remain alive and well?’
      • ‘Last Thursday night they were engulfed by a raging fire without a sprinkler system to put it out.’
      • ‘They are too numerous to mention but without them the event would not have been a success.’
      • ‘We know that without these bush fires plants won't germinate and the bush won't flourish.’
      • ‘This may seem like a simple proposition, but to a man it's like you have asked him to scale Mount Everest without oxygen.’
      • ‘Fire crews were due to revisit the area today to talk to neighbours and fit smoke alarms in properties without them.’
      • ‘If I hear a noise outside the villa, I do not go outside on my own without a torch’
      • ‘The workers were found huddled around a fire without the proper dress for the weather.’
      • ‘Dozens more without tickets waited outside to soak up the atmosphere.’
      • ‘I decided to brass it and head for the departure gate without a boarding card.’
      • ‘They have to catch and prepare their own food, light a fire without matches and build a shelter.’
      • ‘The risk of death in a house fire is three times higher in homes without smoke alarms.’
      • ‘Finally we'd like to make mention of the musicians without whom this show would not have been as good as it was.’
      lacking, in need of, wanting for, needing, requiring, short of
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    2. 1.2often with verbal noun In circumstances in which the action mentioned does not happen.
      ‘they sat looking at each other without speaking’
      • ‘The church has slid so far into consumerism it is nearly impossible to live out your faith without paying for it.’
      • ‘He was burned down his right arm and hand, on the back of his head and his back, but he escaped without smoke damage to his lungs.’
      • ‘A related form was the white herring, which was salted without being smoked.’
      • ‘His second wife, Bettye, tied the knot without mentioning that she'd been married before.’
      • ‘September is a month of fruition, pleasing sunsets and being able to have a fire again without feeling guilty.’
      • ‘He left his shirt near the fire and shuffled into the woods without removing his wet shorts.’
      • ‘Continuing to put premises to such use without applying for a Fire Certificate is an offence.’
      • ‘Being in hospital is stressful enough without being banned from smoking.’
      • ‘You watch the emotional drama taking place inside and outside without getting caught up in it.’
      • ‘He fired randomly and without aiming, trying to simply heighten the confusion within the camp.’
      • ‘You can now go on-line and increase your skills without going outside your door.’
      • ‘I can't finish this piece without making a special mention of the lighting.’
      • ‘What a joy to come back from a night out without cigarette smoke clinging to every fibre and to be able to wear your clothes again the next day.’
      • ‘Hardly a day goes past in Otley at the moment without yet another fire apparently being deliberately started.’
      • ‘Hardly a day goes by without some mention in the media of a new sporting deal.’
      • ‘Some years later the dreamer hears of a magic man who walks through fire without being burned.’
      • ‘His arms are held out straight and he continues to fire without stopping for a break.’
      • ‘This thief had previous convictions and so was a felon, but the constable fired at him without knowing this.’
      • ‘He forced them to surrender without a shot being fired and held them prisoner until back-up arrived.’
      • ‘It is very sad that these people can't manage an hour or so without smoking.’
  • 2literary, archaic Outside.

    ‘the barbarians without the gates’


literary, archaic
  • Outside.

    ‘the enemy without’


dialect, archaic
  • 1Without it being the case that.

    ‘he won't be able to go without we know it’
    1. 1.1 Unless.
      ‘I'd never have known you without you spoke to me’


Old English withūtan ‘on the outside’.