Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “as”


conjunction (WHILE)    weak /əz/ strong /æz/
B1 during the time that: I saw him as I was coming into the building. He gets more attractive as he gets older.Simultaneous and consecutiveOrder and sequence Grammar:AsAs is a preposition or a conjunction.See moreGrammar:As as a prepositionWe use as with a noun to refer to the role or purpose of a person or thing:See moreGrammar:As as a conjunctionThe conjunction as has several different meanings. We use as when one event happens while another is in progress (‘during the time that’). In this case the verb after is often in the continuous form:See moreGrammar:The same asWe use as with the same to talk about identical things:See moreGrammar:As: simultaneous changesWe use as to introduce two events happening at the same time. After as with this meaning, we usually use a simple (rather than continuous) form of the verb:See moreGrammar:As, when or while?As, when and while are conjunctions. In some uses as, when and while can mean the same, but they can also have slightly different meanings. We use them to introduce subordinate clauses.See moreGrammar:AsWe can use as to introduce two events happening at the same time. After as, we can use a simple or continuous form of the verb. The continous form emphasises an action that interrupts or occurs during the progress of another action:See moreGrammar:WhenWe can use when to introduce a single completed event that takes place in the middle of a longer activity or event. In these cases, we usually use a continuous verb in the main clause to describe the background event:See moreGrammar:While and asWe can use while or as to talk about two longer events or activities happening at the same time. We can use either simple or continuous verb forms:See moreGrammar:When and while without a subjectWe can use when and while without a verb, or without a subject + auxiliary verb be:See more
(Definition of as conjunction (WHILE) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of as

Definitions of “as” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


willing to give money, help, kindness, etc., especially more than is usual or expected

Word of the Day


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