Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “against”

against

preposition (OPPOSING)    /əˈɡenst/ /-ˈɡeɪnst/ US  /-ˈɡenst/
A2 disagreeing with a plan or activity: She spoke against the decision to close the college. 50 people voted against the new proposal. I'm very much against the idea that it is the woman's job to bring up the child. Germany are playing against Brazil in the cup final tonight. She's always rebelled against authority. She sold the house even though it was against his wishes. They called a demonstration to protest against proposed job cuts. Are you for or against my proposal? Sanctions against the country should be lifted. Stricter controls will help in the fight against inflation. Criminal charges will be brought against the driver. They decided not to take legal action against him. They were up against a powerful pressure group. We came up against a lot of problems in the course of building our extension. The chances/odds against you winning such a competition are enormous. It's against the law (= illegal) to leave children under a certain age alone in the house. It's against my beliefs/principles to be nice to someone I dislike just because they're in a senior position. Against all probability (= although it was extremely unlikely) we found ourselves in the same hotel. I wouldn't dare say anything against him (= criticize him) to his mother!Opposing and against have sth against sb C1 If you have something against someone, you dislike them for a reason: I've nothing against him - I just don't have much in common with him.Opposing and against count/go/work against sb If something counts/goes/works against you, it gives you a disadvantage: Lack of experience will generally count against you in an interview.Preventing and impedingLimiting and restricting Grammar:Against: reactionsWe use against to refer to negative, hostile or opposing reactions to situations, beliefs, people, events, etc.See moreGrammar:Against: physical contactWe often use against to talk about physical contact between two or more things:See moreGrammar:Against: competitionWe often use against with verbs and nouns connected with sport and competitions, such as compete/competition, final, game, match, play, semi-final:See moreGrammar:When we don’t use againstWe use about, not against, to refer to taking action to solve problems:See moreGrammar:Against: typical errorSee moreGrammar:AgainstAgainst is a preposition.See more
(Definition of against preposition (OPPOSING) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of against

Definitions of “against” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

handout

a document given to students or reporters which contains information about a particular subject

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More