Definition of abreast in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /əˈbrɛst/


1Side by side and facing the same way: the path was wide enough for two people to walk abreast they were riding three abreast
More example sentences
  • Elderly people seemed to dominate the pavements as they walked six abreast, oblivious of the office workers and commuters ‘tutting’ as they had to walk into the road to get round them.
  • Cyclists may feel a little more inclined to use the towpath if pedestrians did not walk four abreast and refuse to give way until the last minute and dog walkers kept their dogs on a short lead and cleaned up after their dogs.
  • The interior is so cramped that two people cannot walk abreast.
in a row, side by side, alongside, level, abeam, on a level, beside each other, shoulder to shoulder, cheek by jowl
2 (usually abreast of) Alongside or level with something: the cart came abreast of the Americans in their rickshaw
More example sentences
  • As he came abreast of the viewing stand, he was coming full circle preparing to start the cycle again.
  • Twenty minutes out and through the mist we came abreast of a race in full swing.
  • He said there was no way the two cars could have been abreast of each other on the night.
2.1Up to date with the latest news, ideas, or information: keeping abreast of developments
More example sentences
  • Mr Gonsell spends half an hour a day reading the New York Times and Washington Post to keep abreast with international news.
  • It has a sizable business section with two writers sharing the job of keeping readers abreast the news.
  • His treatment is based on the latest knowledge by a leading authority who has kept abreast of both the information and the debates.
up to date with, up with, in touch with, informed about, familiar with, acquainted with, knowledgeable about, conversant with, au courant with, au fait with
informal plugged into


Late Middle English: from a-2 'in' + breast.

Words that rhyme with abreast

arrest, attest, beau geste, behest, bequest, best, blessed, blest, breast, Brest, Bucharest, Budapest, celeste, chest, contest, crest, digest, divest, guest, hest, infest, ingest, jest, lest, Midwest, molest, nest, northwest, pest, prestressed, protest, quest, rest, self-addressed, self-confessed, self-possessed, southwest, suggest, test, Trieste, unaddressed, unexpressed, unimpressed, unpressed, unstressed, vest, west, wrest, zest

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: abreast

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.