Meaning of “away” in the English Dictionary

"away" in British English

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uk /əˈweɪ/ us /əˈweɪ/

away adverb (SOMEWHERE ELSE)

A2 somewhere else, or to or in a different place, position, or situation:

Ms Watson is away on holiday until the end of the week.
Keep/Stay away from him.
Just go away and leave me alone!
The sight was so horrible that I had to look/turn away.
The recent flood has swept away the footbridge.
I've given away all my old clothes to charity.
UK Would you like your burger to eat in or take away?

More examples

  • The police went after him but he got away.
  • The couple next door moved away last year.
  • He made a sudden movement and frightened the bird away.
  • He looked away from the computer screen to rest his eyes.
  • The letter blew away and I had to run after it.

away adverb (DISTANT)

A2 at a distance (of or from here):

How far away is the station?
The office is a half-hour drive away.
We live five kilometres away from each other.
Life's so much quieter away from the city.
informal Oh, it's miles away (= a long distance from here).

More examples

  • I don't like the idea of living so far away from my family.
  • The explosion was of such intensity that it was heard five miles away.
  • The nearest town is ten miles away.
  • The museum is just six blocks away.
  • Is the station far away?

away adverb (INTO PLACE)

B1 in or into the usual or a suitable place, especially one that can be closed:

Would you put the ice cream away in the freezer?
My grandparents had £800 hidden away in an old shoe box.

More examples

  • I told the children to put their toys and games away.
  • Put that knife away before someone gets hurt.
  • All the folders have been carefully numbered and filed away.
  • The diamonds are shut away in a bank vault somewhere.
  • At a word from their teacher, the children started to tidy away their books.

away adverb (GONE)

B2 gradually until mostly or completely gone:

All the snow had melted away.
The music faded away as the procession moved slowly up the street.
We used to while away (= spend) the weekends at my aunt's house in the country.
We danced the night away (= until the night was over).

More examples

  • Haitian strongman Duvalier could feel his power slipping away.
  • The sound of his footsteps gradually died away.
  • He could feel his strength ebbing away.
  • As the years passed, the memories faded away.
  • He gambled away all of our savings.

away adverb (IN THE FUTURE)

B1 in the future:

My English exam's only a week away and I haven't even started to prepare.

More examples

  • We're having a holiday in August, but that seems a long way away.
  • Christmas is only two months away.
  • The announcement of the winner is just a few minutes away now.
  • Don't worry about your driving test yet - it's weeks away.
  • With the concert only a few days away, the band are practising hard.

away adverb (CONTINUOUSLY)

C2 continuously or repeatedly, or in a busy way:

I was still writing away when the exam finished.
Chris has been working away in the garden all day.
We were chatting away at the back and didn't hear what he said.

More examples

  • She was singing away to herself as she worked.
  • They were hammering away at the door.
  • They were just chatting away while the fire raged around them.


uk /əˈweɪ/ us /əˈweɪ/

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

"away" in American English

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awayadjective, adverb [ not gradable ]

us /əˈweɪ/

away adjective, adverb [ not gradable ] (SOMEWHERE ELSE)

somewhere else, or to or in a different place, position, or situation:

Barbara is away on vacation until the end of the week.
The Jeffersons went away for the weekend, but they’ll be back on Monday.

awayadverb [ not gradable ]

us /əˈweɪ/

away adverb [ not gradable ] (DISTANT)

at a distance (from this place):

How far away is the station?

away adverb [ not gradable ] (IN THE FUTURE)

in the future; from now:

The wedding is still six months away.

away adverb [ not gradable ] (INTO PLACE)

in or into the usual or a suitable place, esp. one that is enclosed:

Put the groceries away before you go out again.

away adverb [ not gradable ] (GRADUALLY)

gradually until mostly or completely gone:

The music faded away.

away adverb [ not gradable ] (CONTINUOUSLY)

continuously or repeatedly, or actively:

Chris has been working away on the car all day.

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