Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

away - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

adverb     away pronunciation in American English
  1. 1
    in a different direction
    1. a.
      moving so that you go farther from a person, place, or thing

      When Sykes saw the police, he ran away.

      away from:

      People had been driven away from their homes by the invading army.

    2. b.
      used for talking about the direction of a road, path, etc.
      away from:

      A path led away from the back of the house.

    3. c.
      turning or looking toward a different direction

      Bruce was staring at her. She looked away, feeling suddenly shy and embarrassed.

      away from:

      He turned away from the window and walked over to the table.

  2. 2
    not at home, or not at the place where you work or study

    My brother takes care of the farm while I’m away.

    away from:

    I’m writing to ask Amy’s parents why she’s been away from school.

    away on vacation/business:

    Graham’s away on vacation this week.

    go away (=leave your home for more than a day):

    I haven’t seen our neighbors around – they must have gone away somewhere.

  3. 3
    at a distance
    1. a.
      not near something or someone, especially because of danger
      keep/stay away:

      Police have warned people to stay away from the area.

      away from:

      Keep away from the stove – it’s very hot.

    2. b.
      far from people, places, or things, especially so that you feel separated from them
      away from:

      It’s nice to have a weekend away from the city.

      She’s been away from her family for too long.

  4. 4
    used for showing distance or time
    1. a.
      used for saying how far it is to a place
      5 miles/100 yards etc. away:

      The nearest hospital is about eight miles away.

      away from:

      Robert’s brother was standing only a few feet away from me.

    2. b.
      used for saying how much time will pass before a date or event in the future
      2 weeks/3 months etc. away:

      Final exams are less than three weeks away.

  5. 5
    used for saying that something gradually disappears

    The sound of their voices faded away into the distance.

    Martha’s anger suddenly melted away.

  6. 6
    [usually progressive] used for showing that someone does something continuously or for a long time

    Molly was at her desk working away as usual.

    The children were all chattering away happily.

  7. 7
    used for showing that something is removed

    We need to have this garbage taken away.

    She wiped away her tears and tried to smile.

  8. 8
    used for showing that there is a change in people’s opinions or ways of doing things
    a move/shift away from:

    There has been a shift away from the old manufacturing industries toward high technology.

    move/shift away from:

    We’re moving away from the idea that what’s modern is necessarily good.

  9. 9
    in a safe place, or in the place where something is usually kept
    store/hide something away:

    He’s got lot of gold coins hidden away somewhere.

    put/clear something away:

    Put your toys away before you go to bed.

  10. 10
    if a sports team plays away, they go to their opponentsground to play a game. If they play in their own ground, they play at home.
See also
  • Facebook
  • Twitter


a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play