against - definition and synonyms


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  1. 1
    in opposition to someone/something
    1. a.
    2. b.
      used for stating who or what you are trying to defeat in a game, race, or fight

      England’s World Cup game against Argentina

      The king’s son died in battle, fighting against the Persians.

      the fight against drugs in our city’s schools

  2. 2
    directed towards or affecting someone/something in a negative way
    1. a.
      used for stating who is harmed or affected by something

      The dictator is charged with crimes against humanity.

      count against (=cause someone to have a disadvantage):

      He’s over 40, so his age may count against him.

       Synonyms and related words
    2. b.
      used for stating who someone dislikes or feels angry towards

      There was growing resentment among the people against their foreign rulers.

      turn against (=become unfriendly towards someone):

      Louis turned against his former ally, and withdrew his support.

       Synonyms and related words
    3. c.
      used for saying who is accused of doing something wrong
      accusation/charge/allegation against someone:

      Accusations of bribery had been made against the vice-president.

  3. 3
    touching or hitting someone/something
    1. a.
      touching or hitting the surface of something

      He leaned over and his lips brushed against her hair.

      I fell heavily against the bookshelves.

    2. b.
      very close to and touching something, especially so that it is used as a support

      We left Ron’s bicycle propped against a tree.

  4. 4
    if there is a law against doing something, it is illegal

    The state has a law against cruelty to animals.

  5. 5
    used for stating what is causing harm or affecting someone or something

    The plants must be protected against frost until late spring.

    All the children have been vaccinated against diseases such as polio.

     Synonyms and related words
  6. 6
    if someone or something moves against the wind, the current etc, they face it and move in the opposite direction

    We were sailing against a strong easterly wind.

  7. 7
    if something appears against a background, it is seen with the background behind it

    The dark ruins of the castle stood out against the evening sky.

  8. 8
    used for comparing one thing or amount with another

    This year’s profits amounted to only £35 million, against £52 million last year.

    as against:

    Why is there a preference for the American system as against the British?