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against

[uh-genst, uh-geynst] /əˈgɛnst, əˈgeɪnst/
preposition
1.
in opposition to; contrary to; adverse or hostile to:
twenty votes against ten; against reason.
2.
in resistance to or defense from:
protection against burglars.
3.
in an opposite direction to:
to ride against the wind.
4.
into contact or collision with; toward; upon:
The rain beat against the window.
5.
in contact with:
to lean against the wall.
6.
in preparation for; in provision for:
money saved against a rainy day.
7.
having as background:
a design of flowers against a dark wall.
8.
in exchange for; as a balance to or debit or charge on:
He asked for an advance against his salary.
9.
in competition with:
a racehorse running against his own record time.
10.
in comparison or contrast with:
a matter of reason as against emotion.
11.
beside; near; before:
The car is against the building.
conjunction
12.
Archaic. before; by the time that.
Idioms
13.
over against, in contrast with:
the rich over against the poor.
Origin
1125-1175
1125-75; Middle English agens, ageynes, equivalent to ageyn again + -es -s1; for -t cf. whilst, amongst
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for against
  • During the past twelve months many major currencies have risen against the dollar.
  • They are held against their will and forced to work without pay.
  • The antibody binding site, tucked away in a stable region of the virus, might form the first lasting vaccine against flu.
  • Of course, this whole thing has been a race against time.
  • Hand pulling or hoeing is your first line of defense against weeds, especially annual and biennial kinds.
  • And attempts to use private security-backed militias as proxies against pirates haven't produced much results, either.
  • Most major currencies have weakened against the dollar since the end of last year.
  • The toads make the toxins to protect themselves against predators, which learn not to eat the deadly amphibians.
  • These all against us, and the job on our hands is too large for us.
  • Learn how to grow it against a wall or up an arbor.
British Dictionary definitions for against

against

/əˈɡɛnst; əˈɡeɪnst/
preposition
1.
opposed to; in conflict or disagreement with: they fought against the legislation
2.
standing or leaning beside or in front of: a ladder against the wall
3.
coming in contact with: the branches of a tree brushed against the bus
4.
in contrast to: silhouettes are outlines against a light background
5.
having an adverse or unfavourable effect on: the economic system works against small independent companies
6.
as a protection from or means of defence from the adverse effects of: a safeguard against contaminated water
7.
in exchange for or in return for
8.
(rare) in preparation for: he gave them warm clothing against their journey through the night
9.
as against, as opposed to or as compared with: he had two shots at him this time as against only one last time
Word Origin
C12: ageines, from again, ageyn, etc, again + -es genitive ending; the spelling with -t (C16) was probably due to confusion with superlatives ending in -st
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for against
adv.

early 12c., agenes "in opposition to," a southern variant of agen "again" (see again), with adverbial genitive. The parasitic -t turned up mid-14c. and was standard by early 16c., perhaps from influence of superlatives.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with against
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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