of Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “of” in the English Dictionary

"of" in British English

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ofpreposition

uk   weak /əv/ strong /ɒv/  us   /əv/  /ɑːv/
  • of preposition (POSSESSION)

A1 used to show ​possession, ​belonging, or ​origin: a ​friend of mine the ​president of the United States employees of the ​company the ​colour of his ​hair a ​habit of mine that ​revoltingdog of hers the ​love of a good woman the ​completeplays of (= written by) Lorca

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  • of preposition (AMOUNT)

A1 used after words or ​phrasesexpressingamount, ​number, or a ​particularunit: a ​kilo of ​apples loads of ​food hundreds of ​people most of them none of them both of us a third of all ​people a ​speck of ​dust a ​drop of ​rain

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  • of preposition (POSITION)

A2 used in ​expressionsshowingposition: the ​top of his ​head the back of ​yourdress on the ​corner of the ​street the ​front of the ​queue I've never been ​north of Philadelphia.

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  • of preposition (TYPICAL)

typical or ​characteristic of: She has the ​face of an ​angel. That guy's got the ​personality of a ​deadfish!

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  • of preposition (DAYS)

A1 used to refer to a ​particulardate in a ​month: the eleventh of ​March the first of the ​month

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  • of preposition (MADE OF)

made or consisting of; having: dresses of ​lace and ​silk plates of ​gold and ​silver a ​land of ​ice and ​snow a woman of ​greatcharm a ​subject of very little ​interest

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  • of preposition (WITH ADJECTIVES/VERBS)

used to ​connectparticularadjectives and ​verbs with ​nouns: fond of ​swimming sick of his ​excuses scared of ​spiders

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  • of preposition (JUDGMENT)

B2 used after an ​adjective when ​judging someone's ​behaviour: It was ​mean of you tomention her ​weight. Thank you so much for my ​present. How ​thoughtful of you.

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  • of preposition (RELATING TO)

C1 about; ​relating to: Speaking of Elizabeth, here she is. One of the ​advantages of ​travelling by ​train is being ​able to ​read. Let us ​consider the ​events of the last five ​months. Of her ​childhood we ​know very little.formal And what of (= ​tell me about)young Adrian? How is he?

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  • of preposition (THAT IS/ARE)

that is/are: the ​problem of ​homelessness a ​rise of two ​percent in ​inflation the ​skill of ​negotiating the ​difficulty of ​bringing up ​twins the ​pain of ​separation At the ​age of six she could ​read a ​newspaper.

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  • of preposition (THROUGH)

B1 through; having as the ​cause: He ​died of ​cancer. I didn't have to go there - I did it of my own ​free will. I ​want to ​know how it ​happened because it ​certainly didn't ​happen of itself.

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  • of preposition (COMPARING)

A2 used when ​comparingrelated things: I ​liked the ​green one ​best of all . Worst of all was the ​food! He's the ​bestlooking of the three ​brothers. I ​think that of all his ​books it's my ​favourite.

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  • of preposition (TIME)

US used in saying what the ​time is: It's ten (​minutes) of five (= ten ​minutes before five o'clock).

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  • It's twenty five of four.
  • We got there at five of nine.
  • of preposition (SEPARATE FROM)

used in ​expressionsshowingdistance from something in ​place or ​time: We ​live within a ​mile of the ​school. She came within two ​seconds of ​beating the ​worldrecord.

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  • of preposition (LOSS)

used in ​expressionsshowingloss: They were ​robbed of all ​theirsavings. I ​feel I've been ​deprived of ​yourcompany.

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

"of" in American English

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ofpreposition

 us   /ʌv, ɑv, əv/
  • of preposition (POSSESSION)

used to show ​possession, ​belonging, or ​origin: She is a ​friend of mine. The ​color of his ​tiematches his ​suit. Have you ​read the ​novels of ​John Updike?
  • of preposition (CONTAINING)

containing or consisting of: a ​bag of ​groceries a ​book of ​shortstories a ​forest of ​pinetrees a ​bunch of ​grapes
  • of preposition (AMOUNT)

used after words or ​phrasesexpressingamount, ​number, or a ​particularunit: a ​drop of ​rain two ​pounds of ​potatoes hundreds of ​people
  • of preposition (POSITION)

used in ​expressionsshowingposition: I ​left the ​book on ​top of my ​desk. I’ve never been ​north of Montreal.
  • of preposition (RESULT)

resulting from or having to do with: the ​joy of ​family the ​fear of ​failure
  • of preposition (RELATING TO)

about, or ​relating to: Speaking of Elizabeth, here she is. There’s a ​chapter on the use of ​herbs for ​medicinalpurposes.
  • of preposition (CAUSED BY)

used to show the ​cause of something: He ​died of a ​heartattack. Penny is ​frightened of ​spiders. I’m ​tired of all this ​criticism.
  • of preposition (THAT IS/ARE)

that is/are: Sales ​tax of 7% is ​included in the ​price. She could ​read by the ​age of five.
  • of preposition (COMPARING)

used when ​comparingrelated things: He’s the ​oldest of three ​brothers. Of all his ​films, this one is my ​favorite.
  • of preposition (DONE TO)

done to or ​involving: the ​destruction of the ​rainforests the ​graduation of the ​class of 2001
  • of preposition (DISTANCE FROM)

used in ​expressionsshowingdistance from something in ​place or ​time: We ​live within a ​mile of the ​school. She came within two ​seconds of ​beating the ​worldrecord.
  • of preposition (TIME)

used in saying what the ​time is: It’s ten (​minutes) of five (= ten ​minutes before five o’clock).
  • of preposition (DAYS)

used to ​describe a ​particularday: the eleventh of ​March the first of the ​month
(Definition of of from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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