Definition of after in English:

after

Syllabification: af·ter
Pronunciation: /ˈaftər
 
/

preposition

  • 1During the period of time following (an event): shortly after Christmas there’s only one thing to do after an experience like that [as conjunction]: bathtime ended in a flood after the faucets were left running [as adverb]: Duke Frederick died soon after
    More example sentences
    • My mother died soon after and left me the house, which is where I run my business from and make a small living.
    • Their other brother came soon after and now the three of them share a flat in Sofia.
    • We went to Anna's place after and then to see one of her friends for a wee while.
    Synonyms
    later, afterward, after this/that, subsequently
  • 1.1With a period of time rather than an event: after a while he returned
    More example sentences
    • This is to be contrasted with the rebates which were paid periodically after the event.
    • He joined the Army shortly after leaving school to follow in the footsteps of his uncle.
    • The decision was no surprise and came after a lengthy consultation period.
    Synonyms
    following, subsequent to, at the close/end of, in the wake of, post
    formal posterior to
  • 1.2In phrases indicating something happening continuously or repeatedly: day after day we kept studying
    More example sentences
    • Instead of devoting his time to his celebrity status, he spends hour after hour, week after week, working for the little guys... and loving it.
    • Day after day we see the spectacle of a Minister who is unable to do the task that he is paid for.
    • Day after day, the pair attempted to outdo each other lifting weights in the Celtic gym.
  • 1.3North American (Used in specifying a time) past: I strolled in about ten minutes after two
    More example sentences
    • It was just after ten and we were buying the first round of drinks.
    • The clock in the window of a real estate office says "Two." A few windows down another clock says "Ten minutes after two."
    • At ten minutes after two the assistant asks the secretary if Mr. Garcia knows they are there.
  • 1.4During the time following the departure of (someone): she cooks for him and cleans up after him
    More example sentences
    • He assumed the chief executive post less than a year later, after the departure of Martin.
    • He insisted that his presence there should remain secret even after his departure.
    • This means no tax is due on any income after the date of departure and a refund may be applied for.
  • 2Behind: she went out, shutting the door after her
    More example sentences
    • They entered the avenue, and locking the door after them, sought the flight of steps down which the count had before passed.
    • She sensed someone moving very quickly after her before she was hit from behind and had her bag snatched.
    • At the end of the interview he accompanies me to the lift instead of slamming the door after me.
    Synonyms
  • 2.1(With reference to looking or speaking) in the direction of someone who is moving further away: she stared after him
    More example sentences
    • The two friends were left staring after the caravan as it slowly rolled away down the dirt track.
    • Jen shouted after him, but he was too far away to hear her.
    • I stood looking out of the window after him.
  • 3In pursuit or quest of: chasing after something you can’t have most of them are after money Jenny still yearned after him
    More example sentences
    • But he seemed to be slipping as he chased after it and it was brilliant to see the ball go in.
    • She finally chased after one bus for about a mile-and-a-half until it stopped.
    • As many as three bidders are chasing after one of the biggest landlords in Britain, Canary Wharf.
    Synonyms
    in pursuit of, in someone's direction, followingin search of, in quest of, in pursuit of, trying to find, looking for, hunting for; desirous of, wanting
  • 4Next to and following in order or importance: in their order of priorities health comes after housing x comes after y in the series
    More example sentences
    • For boys, reading comes after TV, listening to CDs, tapes and the radio, playing computer or video games, talking on the phone and visiting the Internet.
    • Among leisure activities reading comes after television, radio, time spent with family, and listening to music.
    • Mental health is important, but mental health comes after spiritual health.
  • 5In allusion to (someone or something with the same or a related name): they named her Pauline, after Barbara’s mother
    More example sentences
    • There are five wines in the premium range, named after his mother, who died last year.
    • He was named after his uncle, but his mother preferred to call him Campbell.
    • A modest engineer who discovered a huge gas field was honoured yesterday by having a site named after him.
    Synonyms
    in honor of, as a tribute to
  • 5.1In imitation of: a drawing after Millet’s The Reapers
    More example sentences
    • Among the the most remarkable etchings are the artists's album of portraits after Raphael’s paintings.
    • This piece is conceived after Picasso's 1954 portrait, "Jaqueline, with roses".
    • This unusually large red-chalk drawing by Rembrandt is closely based on an early print after Leonardo da Vinci's famous mural of the Last Supper.

adjective

[attributive] Back to top  
  • 1 archaic Later: he was sorry in after years
    More example sentences
    • At the head of the creek is the farm on which his grandfather was born, and in this beautiful locality were early nurtured those principles of liberty, which shone so brightly in his after years.
    • In his after years, he never omitted an opportunity of urging young men to avail themselves of every means of education offered to them.
    • This grand old man in his after years had the honor of enjoying what he had once seen.
  • 2 Nautical Nearer the stern: the after cabin
    More example sentences
    • I heard voices in the cabins on either hand of me; some people came out of one of the after berths, and passed us, talking noisily but they took no heed of me or of my friend.
    • Immediately after the first sea swept over our stern, I ordered the Boatswain to take sufficient men and shutters to close all windows in the after cabin.
    • The gentlemen's after cabin was now entirely filled, and the forward cabin was certainly in as bad a condition.

Phrases

after all

In spite of any indications or expectations to the contrary: I called and told her I couldn’t come after all you are my counselor, after all
More example sentences
  • Is there a danger we could expect too much of what is, after all, only a five-day event?
  • It dawns, suddenly, that we may not be helping the prime minister very much after all.
  • It turned out once little Abigail had been born there was nothing wrong after all.
Synonyms
above all, most important, most importantly, beyond everything, ultimately

after hours

After normal working or opening hours, typically those of bars and nightclubs: [as adverb]: she was going in to work after hours [as adjective]: an after-hours jazz club
More example sentences
  • For several years, he worked as a caddie and secretly played the course before hours and after hours.
  • In some after-hours clubs, the music was shut off and the TV turned up for the half hour Small Wonder was on.
  • The clinic operates after hours, using daytime workers but paying them overtime.

after you

A polite formula used to suggest that someone goes in front of or takes a turn before oneself: after you, Mr. Pritchard
More example sentences
  • “No, please, after you.” “Please, I insist, you go first.”
  • "Not a bit of it, please after you sir" "Ah, non, non, I would not dare sir, after you"
  • “After you ladies,” he said offering her his most charming smile as she offered him a shy smile and brushed past him.

Origin

Old English æfter, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch achter.

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Pronunciation: ˌkələrəˈto͝orə
noun
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody