abreast of


adverb, adjective
side by side; beside each other in a line: They walked two abreast down the street.
equal to or alongside in progress, attainment, or awareness (usually followed by of or with ): to keep abreast of scientific developments; keeping abreast with the times.

1590–1600; a-1 + breast

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World English Dictionary
abreast (əˈbrɛst)
adj (foll by of or with)
1.  alongside each other and facing in the same direction
2.  up to date (with); fully conversant (with)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

mid-15c., on brest, from a- (1) + breast; the notion is of "with breasts in line." To keep abreast in fig. sense of "stay up-to-date" is from 1650s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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