Achter – Definition & Meaning

If you are learning Dutch or have come across the word “achter” in a conversation or text, you might be wondering what it means. In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of the word achter, its origin, and its associations. We will also look at its synonyms, antonyms, and root words, and provide example sentences to help you understand how to use it in context.


Achter is a Dutch word that can have several meanings depending on the context. In general, it can be translated as “behind”, “at the back”, “after”, or “in the rear”. It can also be used as a preposition, adverb, or noun.


The word achter comes from the Middle Dutch word “achter”, which means “behind” or “at the back”. It is related to the German word “hinter” and the English word “after”.

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Van Dale Dutch Dictionary, achter means “at the back”, “behind”, “after”, or “in the rear”. The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “behind” or “at the back”. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary translates it as “behind” or “at the back”.


Achter can be associated with the concepts of position, direction, and time. For example, it can be used to describe the location of an object or person in relation to another object or person, such as “The car is behind the house” or “He is standing at the back of the line”. It can also indicate the direction of movement, such as “We walked behind the group” or “The airplane flew over the mountains and landed behind them”. Finally, it can refer to a sequence of events, such as “The meeting will take place after lunch” or “The movie starts at 9 pm and ends at 11 pm”.


Some synonyms of achter include:

  • Achterwaarts: backwards.
  • Achteruit: backwards.
  • Achterop: at the back.
  • Achteraan: at the back.
  • Na: after.


Some antonyms of achter include:

  • Voor: in front of.
  • Vooraan: at the front.
  • Eerder: earlier.
  • Vroeger: in the past.

The same root words

Some words that share the same root as achter include:

  • Achtergrond: background.
  • Achteruitgang: decline.
  • Achtervolgen: to chase.
  • Achterblijven: to stay behind.

Example Sentences

Here are some example sentences that use the word achter:

  • De kat zit achter de bank. (The cat is behind the couch.).
  • Ik stond achteraan in de rij. (I was at the back of the line.).
  • De trein vertrekt drie minuten na de bus. (The train leaves three minutes after the bus.).
  • Achteruit rijden is niet toegestaan. (Backing up is not allowed.).
  • Hij loopt achter zijn vrienden aan. (He is following his friends.).
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