Meaning of AS in English

I. as 1 S1 W1 /əz; strong æz/ BrE AmE preposition , adverb

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: eallswa ; ⇨ ↑ also ]

1 . used when you are comparing two people, things, situations etc

as ... as

Tom’s not as old as you, is he?

an old woman with hair as white as snow

Some of the doctors are paid almost twice as much as the nurses.

We work as hard as any other team in England.

Please let me know your decision as soon as possible (=as soon as you can) .

His last album sold half a million copies and we hope this one will be just as (=equally) popular.

2 . used to say what job, duty, use, or appearance someone or something has:

As a parent, I feel that more should be done to protect our children.

A flat stone was used as a table.

Dad dressed up as Santa Claus.

3 . used to say what someone thinks or says a person or thing is:

The problem is regarded as serious.

The result of last week’s election will be seen as a victory for the right-wing government.

He’s described as being in his late teens, tall, and of slim build.

4 . when someone was in a particular age group:

As a young man, Eliot had studied art in Paris.

I’ll take you to all the places I loved as a girl.

⇨ such as at ↑ such (2), ⇨ as one at ↑ one 2 (16)

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as, like, as if/though

Use as in comparisons in the expression as ... as , with an adjective or adverb in between:

Basketball is as popular as football here.

He can’t sing as well as his brother.

As is also used after be the same (age/colour etc) :

He is the same age as me.

► Do not use as on its own before a noun or pronoun in comparisons. Use like :

A movie is not like a book (NOT not as a book).

Like other people (NOT as other people), he values his privacy.

Use as if/as though followed by a clause to compare a real situation to an imaginary situation:

He talked to them as if they were children.

► Some people use like in this sort of comparison:

They act like they own the place.

However, some people think this is incorrect.

► as if/as though cannot be followed directly by a noun:

You treat them as if they were your parents (NOT as if your parents).

II. as 2 S1 W1 BrE AmE conjunction

1 . used in comparisons

as ... as

They want peace as much as we do.

Helen comes to visit me as often as she can.

I can’t run as fast as I used to.

2 . in the way that someone says or that something happens, or in the condition something is in:

Do as I say!

We’d better leave things as they are until the police arrive.

The money was repaid, as promised.

He did not need to keep moving house, as his father had.

Roberta was late as usual (=in the way that she usually was) .

3 . used to say that what you are saying is already known or has been stated before:

David, as you know, has not been well lately.

As I explained on the phone, your request will be considered at the next meeting.

As Napoleon once said, attack is the best method of defence.

4 . while or when:

I saw Peter as I was getting off the bus.

As time passed, things seemed to get worse.

Just as the two men were leaving, a message arrived.

5 . used to state why a particular situation exists or why someone does something:

As it was getting late, I turned around to start for home.

We asked Philip to come with us, as he knew the road.

6 . though:

Unlikely as it might seem, I’m tired too.

Try as she might, Sue couldn’t get the door open.

As popular as he is, the President hasn’t always managed to have his own way.

7 . as for somebody/something used when you are starting to talk about someone or something new that is connected with what you were talking about before:

Kitty’s got so thin. And as for Carl, he always seems to be ill.

You can ask the others, but as for myself, I’ll be busy in the office.

8 . as yet [used in negatives] until and including the present time – used to say that something has not happened although it may happen in the future:

We’ve had no word from Colin as yet.

9 . as if .../as though ...

a) in a way that makes it seem that something is true or that something is happening:

It sounds as though she’s been really ill.

Gary was behaving as though nothing had happened.

Mrs Crump looked as if she was going to explode.

Beckworth shook his head as if to say ‘Don’t trust her’.

b) used to emphasize that something is not true or will not happen:

She said she’d never speak to me again. As if I cared (=I do not care at all) .

‘Don’t try any funny business, now.’ ‘As if I would.’

As if! spoken informal :

He asked if I’d go out with him. As if (=it is extremely unlikely that I would go out with him) !

10 . it’s not as if used to say that something cannot be the explanation for a situation or someone’s behaviour because it is not true:

Why do they never go on holiday? I mean it’s not as if they’re poor is it?

I don’t know why you’re so frightened of her, it’s not as if she’s got any power over you.

11 . as it is

a) because of the situation that actually exists – used when that situation is different from what you expected or needed:

They hoped to finish the kitchen by Friday, but as it is they’ll probably have to come back next week.

b) already:

Just keep quiet – you’re in enough trouble as it is.

12 . as from/of something starting from a particular time or date and continuing:

As from today, you are in charge of the office.

As of now, there will be no more paid overtime.

13 . as against something in comparison with something:

Profits this year are $2.5 million as against $4 million last year.

14 . as to something

a) concerning:

Frank was very uncertain as to whether it was the right job for him.

advice as to which suppliers to approach

He kept his rivals guessing as to his real intentions.

b) formal used when you are starting to talk about something new that is connected with what you were talking about before:

As to our future plans, I think I need only say that the company intends to expand at a steady rate.

15 . as it were used when describing someone or something in a way that is not quite exact:

Jim Radcliffe became our idol, as it were, the man we all wanted to be.

16 . as is/was/does etc formal used to add that what you have said is also true of someone or something else:

Eve’s very tall, as was her mother.

I voted Labour, as did my wife.

17 . as you do British English spoken in the way that people usually do something or how they normally behave – often used humorously by people after they have mentioned doing something strange or unusual:

We talked, exchanged email addresses and phone numbers, as you do on planes.

I was driving a Ferrari through town yesterday – as you do – when I saw an old school friend outside the cinema.

⇨ not as such at ↑ such (8), ⇨ as well at ↑ well 1 (5), ⇨ as well as at ↑ well 1 (6), ⇨ might (just) as well at ↑ might 1 (9), ⇨ so as to do something at ↑ so 2 (5)

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▪ because conjunction used when giving the reason for something:

I went home because I was tired.


The streets were flooded because of all the rain.

▪ due to/owing to preposition used to give the reason why something has happened. Due to and owing to are more formal than because :

The delay was due to a problem with the ship’s engines.


The parade had to be cancelled owing to bad weather.

▪ through preposition because of something. Through is used especially when saying why someone succeeded or failed to do something:

They won the game, more through luck than skill.


You failed that test through carelessness.

▪ thanks to preposition used when explaining that something good has happened because of someone’s efforts, or because something exists:

Thanks to modern medicine, the disease can now be cured.

▪ since/as conjunction used when giving the reason why someone decides to do something or decides that something is true:

We decided to go to the beach since it was a nice day.


I thought Kevin was out as his car wasn’t there.

▪ out of preposition because of a particular feeling or quality:

He started reading the book out of curiosity.


I only asked out of politeness.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.