Meaning of “according to” in the English Dictionary

"according to" in British English

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according topreposition

uk /əˈkɔː.dɪŋ ˌtuː/ us /əˈkɔːr.dɪŋ ˌtuː/

according to preposition (OPINION)

B1 as stated by:

According to Sarah they're not getting on very well at the moment.
According to our records you owe us $130.

More examples

  • An agreement is looking decidedly difficult according to the newspapers.
  • the Gospel according to St Mark
  • According to Ella, it was the first time they had met.
  • According to these documents, you still owe us £2,000.
  • You've been very rude, according to your mother.

according to preposition (METHOD)

B2 in a way that agrees with:

Students are all put in different groups according to their ability.
according to plan

Something that happens according to plan happens in the way it was intended to:

Did it all go according to plan?

More examples

  • The books in the library are classified by/according to subject.
  • Vegetable prices fluctuate according to the season.
  • The books are graded according to the difficulty of the language.
  • I grouped the children according to age.
  • The books were organized on the shelves according to their size.

(Definition of “according to” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"according to" in American English

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according topreposition

us /əˈkɔr·dɪŋ ˌtu, -ˌtʊ, -tə/

according to preposition (AS STATED BY)

as stated by:

According to my mother, you have to eat three meals a day every day.

according to preposition (FOLLOWING)

in a way that agrees with; by:

The teacher sorted the exams according to grade, with the A’s on top and the F’s on the bottom.

(Definition of “according to” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"according to" in Business English

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according topreposition

uk us

used for saying which person, group, piece of information, etc. provides a particular fact:

According to a company spokesman, the firm is expected to have sales of more than $3.5 billion this year.
according to data/estimates/figures According to figures from the Census Bureau, the biggest population growth nationwide occurred in urban hubs in the South and the West.

(Definition of “according to” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)