Amidst A*midst", Amid A*mid", prep. [OE. amidde, amiddes, on midden, AS. on middan, in the middle, fr. midde the middle. The s is an adverbial ending, originally marking the genitive; the t is a later addition, as in whilst, amongst, alongst. See {Mid}.] In the midst or middle of; surrounded or encompassed by; among. ``This fair tree amidst the garden.'' ``Unseen amid the throng.'' ``Amidst thick clouds.'' --Milton. ``Amidst acclamations.'' ``Amidst the splendor and festivity of a court.'' --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

But rather famish them amid their plenty. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Syn: {Amidst}, {Among}.

Usage: These words differ to some extent from each other, as will be seen from their etymology. Amidst denotes in the midst or middle of, and hence surrounded by; as, this work was written amidst many interruptions. Among denotes a mingling or intermixing with distinct or separable objects; as, ``He fell among thieves.'' ``Blessed art thou among women.'' Hence, we say, among the moderns, among the ancients, among the thickest of trees, among these considerations, among the reasons I have to offer. Amid and amidst are commonly used when the idea of separate or distinguishable objects is not prominent. Hence, we say, they kept on amidst the storm, amidst the gloom, he was sinking amidst the waves, he persevered amidst many difficulties; in none of which cases could among be used. In like manner, Milton speaks of Abdiel,

The seraph Abdiel, faithful found; Among the faithless faithful only he, [1913 Webster] because he was then considered as one of the angels. But when the poet adds,

From amidst them forth he passed, [1913 Webster] we have rather the idea of the angels as a collective body.

Those squalid cabins and uncleared woods amidst which he was born. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster] ||

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • amidst — (prep.) a variant of AMID (Cf. amid) (q.v.) with adverbial genitive s and parasitic t. Amidde became amyddes (13c.) and acquired a t by 1560s, probably by association with superlatives in st. There is a tendency to use amidst more distributively… …   Etymology dictionary

  • amidst — index among Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • amidst — [ə midst′] prep. [ AMID + ME adv. gen. s + unhistoric t] AMID …   English World dictionary

  • amidst — amid, amidst Amid, recorded as a preposition and adverb before the Norman Conquest, developed two by forms, amides (cf. always) and amidst (cf. against, amongst). Amides has dropped out of use, and amid and amidst have survived only as… …   Modern English usage

  • amidst — preposition /ʌˈmɪdst,ʌˈmɪtst/ In the midst or middle of; surrounded or encompassed by; among. Be a philosopher ; but amidst all your philosophy, be still a man. Syn: amid, among, amongst …   Wiktionary

  • amidst — amid, amidst (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) prep. among, midst, mid. See mixture …   English dictionary for students

  • amidst — a|midst [əˈmıdst] prep literary [Date: 1200 1300; Origin: amid] amid ▪ a light that shines amidst the darkness …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • amidst — [[t]əmɪ̱dst[/t]] PREP Amidst means the same as amid. [LITERARY] Syn: amid …   English dictionary

  • amidst — amid [əˈmɪd] or amidst [əˈmɪdst] preposition 1) while something is happening or changing Banks and shops closed yesterday amid growing fears of violence.[/ex] 2) surrounded by things or people …   Dictionary for writing and speaking English

  • amidst — amid / amidst [prep] in middle of; among amongst, between, during, in the midst of, in the thick of, mid, over, surrounded by, throughout; concepts 586,820 Ant. away from, outside, separate …   New thesaurus

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