- 1 opposing or disagreeing with somebody/something the fight against terrorism We're playing against the league champions next week. We were rowing against the current. That's against the law. She was forced to marry against her will. Are you for or against the death penalty? She is against seeing (= does not want to see) him. I'd advise you against doing that.
- 2 not to the advantage or favour of somebody/something The evidence is against him. Her age is against her. compare for
- 3close to, touching or hitting somebody/something Put the piano there, against the wall. The rain beat against the windows.
- 4in order to prevent something from happening or to reduce the damage caused by something an injection against rabies They took precautions against fire. Are we insured against theft?
- 5with something in the background, as a contrast His red clothes stood out clearly against the snow. (figurative) The love story unfolds against a background of civil war.
- 6used when you are comparing two things You must weigh the benefits against the cost. Check your receipts against the statement. What's the rate of exchange against the dollar? Word Origin Middle English: from again + -s (adverbial genitive) + -t probably by association with superlatives (as in amongst).Idioms in contrast with something They got 27% of the vote as against 32% at the last election. you are unlikely to succeed because the conditions are not good for you
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BrE BrE//əˈɡenst//; NAmE NAmE//əˈɡenst//; BrE BrE//əˈɡeɪnst//; NAmE NAmE//əˈɡeɪnst//For the special uses of against in phrasal verbs, look at the entries for the verbs. For example count against somebody is in the phrasal verb section at count.