Etymology: Middle English, from Old English abufan, from a- + bufan above, from be- + ufan above; akin to Old English ofer over
Date: before 12th century
a. in the sky ; overhead <the clouds above> b. in or to heaven 2. a. in or to a higher place b. higher on the same page or on a preceding page c. upstairs d. above zero <10 degrees above> 3. in or to a higher rank or number <30 and above> 4. archaic in addition ; besides 5. upstage II. preposition Date: before 12th century 1. a. in or to a higher place than ; over b. upriver of 2. a. superior to (as in rank, quality, or degree) b. out of reach of <above suspicion> c. in preference to d. too proud or honorable to stoop to <not above taking undue credit> 3. exceeding in number, quantity, or size ; more than <men above 50 years old> 4. as distinct from and in addition to <heard the whistle above the roar of the crowd> III. noun (plural above) Date: 13th century 1. a. something that is above b. a person whose name is written above 2. a. a higher authority b. heaven Usage: Although still objected to by some, the use of above as a noun in sense 1a <none of the above> <the above is Theseus's opinion — William Blake> and as an adjective <without the above reserve — O. W. Holmes †1935> <I was brought up on the above words — Viscount Montgomery> has been long established as standard. IV. adjective Date: 1604 written or discussed higher on the same page or on a preceding page Usage: see above III
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.