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Old French. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for o.f


/ɒv; unstressed əv/
used with a verbal noun or gerund to link it with a following noun that is either the subject or the object of the verb embedded in the gerund: the breathing of a fine swimmer (subject), the breathing of clean air (object)
used to indicate possession, origin, or association: the house of my sister, to die of hunger
used after words or phrases expressing quantities: a pint of milk
constituted by, containing, or characterized by: a family of idiots, a rod of iron, a man of some depth
used to indicate separation, as in time or space: within a mile of the town, within ten minutes of the beginning of the concert
used to mark apposition: the city of Naples, a speech on the subject of archaeology
about; concerning: speak to me of love
used in passive constructions to indicate the agent: he was beloved of all
(informal) used to indicate a day or part of a period of time when some activity habitually occurs: I go to the pub of an evening
(US) before the hour of: a quarter of nine
Word Origin
Old English (as prep and adv); related to Old Norse af, Old High German aba, Latin ab, Greek apo


Old French (language)
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 o.f



Old English of, unstressed form of æf (prep., adv.) "away, away from," from Proto-Germanic *af (cf. Old Norse af, Old Frisian af, of "of," Dutch af "off, down," German ab "off, from, down"), from PIE *apo- "off, away" (see apo-). Primary sense in Old English still was "away," but shifted in Middle English with use of the word to translate Latin de, ex, and especially Old French de, which had come to be the substitute for the genitive case. "Of shares with another word of the same length, as, the evil glory of being accessory to more crimes against grammar than any other." [Fowler]

Also from 1837 a non-standard or dialectal representation of have as pronounced in unstressed positions (could of, must of, etc.)

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for o.f



Have •In verb constructions, used for humorous or dialect effect: I must of gone crazy or something (1844+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Related Abbreviations for o.f


  1. Oriental female
  2. outfield
  3. outfielder
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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