Against – Definition & Meaning

The word “against” is a common term used in everyday language. It is used to describe opposition, resistance, or disagreement with something or someone. In this article, we will explore the different definitions and meanings of “against,” its origin, associations, synonyms, antonyms, and example sentences.


The term “against” can be defined as a preposition that indicates opposition or resistance to something. It can also be used to describe physical contact or proximity, as in “the car crashed against the wall.” Additionally, “against” can be used as an adverb to describe a physical or emotional state, as in “leaning against the wall” or “feeling against the odds.”


The word “against” has its origins in Old English, where it was spelled “ongean.” It is a combination of the words “on” and “gean,” which meant “toward” and “opposite,” respectively. Over time, the word evolved and became “against” in modern English.

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, “against” means “in opposition or hostility to.” The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “in opposition to or in competition with.” The Cambridge Dictionary describes it as “opposing or disagreeing with something.”


The word “against” is often associated with conflict, opposition, and resistance. It can also be associated with physical contact or proximity, as well as emotional or mental states of being.


Some synonyms for “against” include:

  • Opposed.
  • Contrary to.
  • Antagonistic.
  • Hostile.
  • Resistant.
  • Confrontational.
  • Adverse.
  • Conflicting.
  • Counter.
  • Opposing.


Some antonyms for “against” include:

  • For.
  • In favor of.
  • Supportive.
  • Pro.
  • Agreeable.
  • Affirmative.
  • Favorable.
  • Conducive.
  • Sympathetic.
  • Compliant.

The same root words

Some words that have the same root as “against” include:

  • Agony.
  • Antipathy.
  • Aggravate.
  • Agitate.
  • Aggression.
  • Aggravation.
  • Agonize.
  • Antithesis.
  • Antecedent.

Example Sentences

  • The protestors were against the government’s new policies.
  • The cat rubbed against my leg.
  • The football team played against their rivals.
  • She was leaning against the wall, feeling exhausted.
  • The car crashed against the guardrail.
  • The lawyer argued against the defendant’s plea.
  • The teacher was grading the students’ work against a rubric.
  • He had to compete against some of the best athletes in the world.
  • The company was fighting against a hostile takeover.
  • She went against her parents’ wishes and pursued a career in the arts.
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