Definition of “at” - English Dictionary

“at” in British English

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atpreposition

weak /ət/ uk strong /æt/ weak /ət/ us strong /æt/

at preposition (PLACE)

A1 used to show an exact position or particular place:

We'll meet you at the entrance.
That bit at the beginning of the film was brilliant.
She's sitting at the table in the corner.
She was standing at the top of the stairs.
The dog came and lay down at (= next to) my feet.
There's someone at the door (= someone is outside and wants to come in).
I enjoyed my three years at university.
I called her but she was at lunch (= away, eating her lunch).

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at preposition (TIME)

A1 used to show an exact or a particular time:

There's a meeting at 2.30 this afternoon.
Are you free at lunchtime?
In theory, women can still have children at the age of 50.
The bells ring at regular intervals through the day.
At no time/point did the company do anything illegal.
I'm busy at the moment (= now) - can you call back later?
It's a shame I wasn't here to meet you - I was overseas at the time (= then).

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at preposition (DIRECTION)

A1 in the direction of:

She smiled at me.
They waved at us as we drove by.
She aimed at the target.
"Look at me! Look at me!" called the little girl.
He's always shouting at the children.

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at preposition (ACTIVITY)

B1 used to show the activity in which someone's ability is being judged:

I was never very good at sports.
He's very good at getting on with people.
She's hopeless at organizing things.

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at preposition (EMAIL ADDRESS)

A1 the @ symbol that joins the name of a person or a department in an organization to a domain name to make an email address:

"What's your email address?" "It's dictionary at cambridge dot org."

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at preposition (AMOUNT)

B2 used to show a price, temperature, rate, speed, etc.:

I'm not going to buy those shoes at $150!
Inflation is running at 5 percent.
He was driving at 120 mph when the police spotted him.

usually @ used in financial records to show the price, rate, etc. of a particular thing or of each of a number of things on a list:

50 units @ £4.75

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at preposition (CONDITION)

used to show a state, condition, or continuous activity:

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

“at” in American English

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atpreposition

us /æt, ət/

at preposition (PLACE/TIME)

used to show a particular place or a particular time:

I’ll meet you at the theater at 7:45 tonight.
Call me at work.
There’s someone at the door (= outside the door).
I wasn’t here to meet you because I was in Detroit at the time (= then).

at preposition (DIRECTION)

in the direction of:

They waved at us as we drove by.
She aimed at the target, but missed.

at preposition (CAUSE)

used to show the cause of something, esp. a feeling:

I was so happy at the news.

at preposition (CONDITION)

used to show a state, condition, or continuous activity:

The country was at peace/war.
She was hard at work (= working hard).

at preposition (AMOUNT)

used to show a price, temperature, rate, speed, etc.:

They’re selling these coats at 30% off this week.

at preposition (JUDGMENT)

used to show the activity in which someone’s ability is being judged:

I’m really not very good at math.
Sheila is really terrible at getting to places on time.

at preposition (THE MOST)

used before a superlative:

I’m afraid we can only pay you $12 an hour at (the) most.
At best you’ll get to speak to some assistant – you’ll never reach anyone important.

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