In addition to the uses shown below, against is used in phrasal verbs such as `come up against', `guard against', and `hold against'.
1 prep If one thing is leaning or pressing against another, it is touching it.
She leaned against him..., On a table pushed against a wall there were bottles of beer and wine., ...the rain beating against the window panes.
2 prep If you are against something such as a plan, policy, or system, you think it is wrong, bad, or stupid.
Taxes are unpopular<endash>it is understandable that voters are against them..., Joan was very much against commencing drug treatment., ...a march to protest against job losses.
Against is also an adverb., adv ADV after v
The vote for the suspension of the party was 283 in favour with 29 against.
3 prep If you compete against someone in a game, you try to beat them.
The tour will include games against the Australian Barbarians...
4 prep If you take action against someone or something, you try to harm them.
Security forces are still using violence against opponents of the government.
5 prep If you take action against a possible future event, you try to prevent it.
...the fight against crime..., I must warn you against raising your hopes.
6 prep If you do something against someone's wishes, advice, or orders, you do not do what they want you to do or tell you to do.
He discharged himself from hospital against the advice of doctors.
7 prep If you do something in order to protect yourself against something unpleasant or harmful, you do something which will make its effects on you less serious if it happens.
A business needs insurance against risks such as fire and flood...
8 If you have something against someone or something, you dislike them.
have sth against sb phrase V inflects, PHR n
Have you got something against women, Les?...
9 prep If something is against the law or against the rules, there is a law or a rule which says that you must not do it.
It is against the law to detain you against your will for any length of time...
10 prep If you are moving against a current, tide, or wind, you are moving in the opposite direction to it., (Antonym: with)
...swimming upstream against the current...
11 prep If something happens or is considered against a particular background of events, it is considered in relation to those events, because those events are relevant to it.
The profits rise was achieved against a backdrop of falling metal prices.
12 prep If something is measured or valued against something else, it is measured or valued by comparing it with the other thing.
Our policy has to be judged against a clear test: will it improve the standard of education?..., The US dollar is down against most foreign currencies today.
13 If you discuss a particular set of facts or figures as against another set, you are comparing or contrasting the two sets of facts or figures.
as against phrase
Over 50% of divorced men regretted their divorce, as against 25% of women.
14 prep The odds against something happening are the chances or odds that it will not happen.
The odds against him surviving are incredible.
Against is also an adverb., adv n ADV
What were the odds against?
against the clock