prep., conj., adv., & adj.
prep. 1 a following in time; later than (after six months; after midnight; day after day). b US in specifying time (a quarter after eight). 2 (with causal force) in view of (something that happened shortly before) (after your behaviour tonight what do you expect?). 3 (with concessive force) in spite of (after all my efforts I'm no better off). 4 behind (shut the door after you). 5 in pursuit or quest of (run after them; inquire after him; hanker after it; is after a job). 6 about, concerning (asked after her; asked after her health). 7 in allusion to (named him William after the prince). 8 in imitation of (a person, word, etc.) (a painting after Rubens; 'aesthete' is formed after 'athlete'). 9 next in importance to (the best book on the subject after mine). 10 according to (after a fashion).
conj. in or at a time later than that when (left after they arrived).
adv. 1 later in time (soon after; a week after). 2 behind in place (followed on after; look before and after).
adj. 1 later, following (in after years). 2 Naut. nearer the stern (after cabins; after mast; after-peak). after all 1 in spite of all that has happened or has been said etc. (after all, what does it matter?). 2 in spite of one's exertions, expectations, etc. (they tried for an hour and failed after all; so you have come after all!). after-care care of a patient after a stay in hospital or of a person on release from prison. after-damp choking gas left after an explosion of firedamp in a mine. after-effect an effect that follows after an interval or after the primary action of something. after-image an image retained by a sense-organ, esp. the eye, and producing a sensation after the cessation of the stimulus. after one's own heart see HEART. after-taste a taste remaining or recurring after eating or drinking. after you a formula used in offering precedence.
[ OE fter f. Gmc ]