I. preposition Etymology: Middle English, alteration of againes, from again Date: 13th century 1. a. in opposition or hostility to <
spoke against his enemies
b. contrary to <
against the law
c. in competition with <
racing against each other
d. as a basis for disapproval of <
had nothing against him
2. a. directly opposite ; facing <
she sat down just over against me — Daniel Defoe
b. obsolete exposed to 3. compared or contrasted with <
profits are up against last year
4. a. in preparation or provision for <
saving against an uncertain future
b. as a defense or protection from <
a shelter against the cold
5. a. in the direction of and into contact with <
knocked against the ropes
b. in contact with <
leaning against the wall
6. in a direction opposite to the motion or course of ; counter to <
sail against the wind
7. a. as a counterbalance to <
weighing risk against profit
b. in exchange for <
a lower rate against the dollar
c. as a charge on <
charged against her account
8. before the background of <
viewed against the sky
II. conjunction Date: 14th century archaic in preparation for the time when <
throw on another log of wood against father comes home — Charles Dickens

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

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