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across definition


This page has 14 definitions of across in English. Across is a preposition, an adverb and noun. Examples of how to use across in a sentence are shown. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .


Alternative forms


From Middle English acros, acrosse, from early Middle English acrois, a-croiz, acreoiz, from Anglo-Norman an (in, on) + croiz (in the form of a cross); Equivalent to a- +‎ cross. More at cross.




  1. To, toward, or from the far side of (something that lies between two points of interest).
    We rowed across the river.
    Fortunately, there was a bridge across the river.
    He came across the street to meet me.
  2. On the opposite side of (something that lies between two points of interest).
    That store is across the street.
  3. (Southern US, African-American Vernacular) across from: on the opposite side, relative to something that lies between, from (a point of interest).
    • 1994 June 21, Thong P Tong <>, "Re: Battle Tech Center", message-ID <2u7lsi$>,, Usenet [1]:
      And make sure you're parked across the mall in the outside lot. [] Last time I was there, I parked in a parking structure and paid an arm and a leg for it.
    • 1995, Ronald Kessler, Inside the White House, 1996 edition, →ISBN, page 243 [2]:
      On another occasion, Clinton asked Patterson to drive him to Chelsea's school, Booker Elementary, where Clinton met the department store clerk and climbed into her car.
      "I parked across the entrance and stood outside the car looking around, about 120 feet from where they were parked in a lot that was pretty well lit," Patterson recalled. " [] They stayed in the car for thirty to forty minutes."
    • 2011, Danielle Butler, Scars of Eternity, p. 30:
      A boy that sat across me politely introduced himself as Jackson Klausner.
  4. From one side to the other within (a space being traversed).
    The meteor streaked across the sky.
    He walked across the room.
    Could you slide that across the table to me, please?
  5. At or near the far end of (a space).
    • 2004, Josephine Cox, Lovers and Liars, →ISBN, page 78 [3]:
      "Mam's baking and Cathleen's asleep. I've got a pile of washing bubbling in the copper, so I'd best be off." With that she was across the room and out the door.
  6. Spanning.
    This poetry speaks across the centuries.
  7. Throughout.
    All across the country, voters were communicating their representatives.
    • 2012 March-April, Anna Lena Phillips, “Sneaky Silk Moths”, in American Scientist, volume 100, number 2, page 172:
      Last spring, the periodical cicadas emerged across eastern North America. Their vast numbers and short above-ground life spans inspired awe and irritation in humans—and made for good meals for birds and small mammals.
    • 2013 June 21, Chico Harlan, “Japan pockets the subsidy …”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 2, page 30:
      Across Japan, technology companies and private investors are racing to install devices that until recently they had little interest in: solar panels. Massive solar parks are popping up as part of a rapid build-up that one developer likened to an "explosion."
  8. So as to intersect or pass through or over at an angle.
    Lay the top stick across the bottom one.
    She had straps fastened across the conduit every six feet.
    • 2010, Alex Bledsoe, The Girls with Games of Blood, Tor, →ISBN, page 147 [4]:
      He parked across the end of the driveway, blocking her in.
  9. In possession of full, up-to-date information about; abreast of.
    • 2019, Lenore Taylor, The Guardian, 20 September:
      As a regular news reader I thought I was across the eccentricities of the US president.

Related terms



across (not comparable)

  1. From one side to the other.
    • 2013 July 20, “Welcome to the plastisphere”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8845:
      [The researchers] noticed many of their pieces of [plastic marine] debris sported surface pits around two microns across. Such pits are about the size of a bacterial cell. Closer examination showed that some of these pits did, indeed, contain bacteria, […].
    she helped the blind man across;  the river is half a mile across
  2. On the other side.
    If we sail off at noon, when will we be across?
  3. In a particular direction.
    He leaned across for a book.
  4. (crosswords) Horizontally.
    I got stuck on 4 across.



across (plural acrosses)

  1. (crosswords, often in combination) A word that runs horizontally in the completed puzzle grid or its associated clue.
    I solved all of the acrosses, but then got stuck on 3 down.

Derived terms

terms derived from "across" (all parts of speech)

Further reading