Meaning of AT in English

/ ət; NAmE ; strong form æt/ preposition


used to say where sth/sb is or where sth happens :

at the corner of the street

We changed at Crewe.

They arrived late at the airport.

At the roundabout take the third exit.

I'll be at home all morning.

She's at Tom's (= at Tom's house) .

I met her at the hospital.

How many people were there at the concert?


used to say where sb works or studies :

He's been at the bank longer than anyone else.

She's at Yale (= Yale University) .


used to say when sth happens :

We left at 2 o'clock.

at the end of the week

We woke at dawn.

I didn't know at the time of writing (= when I wrote) .

At night you can see the stars.

( BrE )

What are you doing at the weekend?


used to state the age at which sb does sth :

She got married at 25.

He left school at the age of 16.


in the direction of or towards sb/sth :

What are you looking at?

He pointed a gun at her.

Somebody threw paint at the prime minister.


used after a verb to show that sb tries to do sth, or partly does sth, but does not succeed or complete it :

He clutched wildly at the rope as he fell.

She nibbled at a sandwich (= ate only small bits of it) .


used to state the distance away from sth :

I held it at arm's length.

Can you read a car number plate at fifty metres?


used to show the situation sb/sth is in, what sb is doing or what is happening :

The country is now at war.

I felt at a disadvantage.

I think Mr Harris is at lunch.


used to show a rate, speed, etc. :

He was driving at 70 mph.

The noise came at two-minute intervals (= once every two minutes) .


at sb's / sth's best / worst, etc. used to say that sb/sth is as good, bad, etc. as they can be :

This was Henman at his best.

The garden's at its most beautiful in June.


used with adjectives to show how well sb does sth :

I'm good at French.

She's hopeless at managing people.


used with adjectives to show the cause of sth :

They were impatient at the delay.

She was delighted at the result.


( formal ) in response to sth :

They attended the dinner at the chairman's invitation.


( NAmE ) used when giving a telephone number :

You can reach me at 637-2335, extension 354.


( computing ) the symbol (\@) used in email addresses


- at that

- be at it again

- where it's at



Old English æt , of Germanic origin; related to Old Frisian et and Old Norse at , from an Indo-European root shared by Latin ad to.

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.