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after - definition and synonyms


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adverb, conjunction, preposition     after pronunciation in American English
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After is used in the following ways:
as a preposition (followed by a noun): I went for a swim after breakfast.
as an adverb (without a following noun): He died on June 3rd and was buried the day after.
as a conjunction (connecting two clauses): After you’d left, I got a phone call from Stuart.
  1. 1
    at a later time
    1. a.
      when a particular time has passed, or when an event or action has ended

      After the war, my parents moved to the U.S.

      Essays handed in after 12:00 on Friday will not be accepted.

      She is leaving the school after 20 years as its principal.

      This message arrived after everyone had gone home.

      after a while:

      It seems noisy at first, but after a while you get used to it.

      after doing something:

      Wash your hands after touching raw meat.

    2. b.
      used for showing how much later something happens
      minutes/days/years etc. after:

      His birthday is two days after mine.

      She got here just a few seconds after me (=after I got here).

      Barlow was arrested 24 hours after arriving back in the country.

      soon/shortly/not long after:

      Joe was born not long after we moved to Portland.

      We got here at eleven and the others arrived soon after.

      right after (=immediately after):

      You shouldn’t go swimming right after a big meal.

    3. c.
      American used in telling the time, for giving the number of minutes past the hour

      It’s ten after nine (=9:10).

  2. 2
    at a later position in a list or piece of writing
    1. a.
      following someone or something else in a list or order

      N comes after M in the alphabet.

      Germany is our largest export market after Japan.

      Kate is my best friend, after you of course.

    2. b.
      following something else in a piece of writing

      In the U.S., we put a period after “Mr.” and “Mrs.”

      What do those letters after your name mean?

  3. 3
    farther along a road, railroad, etc.

    You turn right just after the bank.

    We get off at the station after Newport.

  4. 4
    when someone leaves or has left
    1. a.
      if you call or shout after someone, you call or shout to them as they are leaving

      “And don’t come back!” they yelled after him.

    2. b.
      if you clean up after someone, you clean up a mess they have made when they have left or after they have finished

      You can put those toys away because I’m not cleaning up after you.

    3. c.
      if you close a door or gate after you, you close it as you leave a place

      She walked out, closing the door gently after her.

  5. 5
    considering what happened in the past
    1. a.
      used for saying that someone is influenced by past events

      After what happened last time, I was careful not to make the same mistake again.

      They wouldn’t invite John, not after the way he behaved at Sally’s wedding.

    2. b.
      used when there has been a surprising or disappointing result despite everything that was done in the past

      After all that I’d done for her, she didn’t even say thank you.

  6. 6
    trying to catch or get someone/something
    1. a.
      trying to catch someone or something

      The police are after him for burglary.

      go/run/drive etc. after (=follow and try to catch someone or something):

      I ran after her to apologize.

      His dog fell in the river and he jumped in after it.

    2. b.
      informal wanting to get something that belongs to someone else

      Watch out, he’s only after your money.

    3. c.
      mainly British informal trying to find something

      A really good French dictionary, that’s what I’m after.

  7. 7
    mainly British if you name a person or thing after someone, you give them the same name

    We named him after my father.

Open Dictionary


a rise in the level of a stream or river

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