The Alternative English Dictionary: again

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Entry definition

again {{wikipedia}} Alternative forms: againe, agayne, ageyne (obsolete); agin (colloquial or humorous) pronunciation
  • (UK) /əˈɡeɪn/, /əˈɡɛn/
  • (US) /əˈɡɛn/
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etymology From Middle English again, ayain, anȝen, from Old English onġēan, equivalent to a + gain. Cognate with Danish igen, Swedish igen.
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. (obsolete) Back in the reverse direction, or to an original starting point. {{defdate}} exampleBring us word again.
    • 1526, The Bible, tr. William Tyndale, Gospel of Matthew 2: And after they were warned in ther slepe, that they shulde not go ageyne to Herod, they retourned into ther awne countre another way.
  2. Back (to a former place or state). {{defdate}} exampleWe need to bring the old customs to life again. exampleThe South will rise again.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, 19 , [http://openlibrary.org/works/OL2004261W The China Governess] , “Meanwhile Nanny Broome was recovering from her initial panic and seemed anxious to make up for any kudos she might have lost, by exerting her personality to the utmost. She took the policeman's helmet and placed it on a chair, and unfolded his tunic to shake it and fold it up again for him.”
  3. (obsolete) In return, as a reciprocal action; back. {{defdate}}
    • {{RQ:Mlry MrtDrthr}}: but Merlyn warned the kynge couertly that gweneuer was not holsome for hym to take to wyf / for he warned hym that launcelot shold loue her and she hym ageyne
    • {{RQ:Flr Mntgn Essays}}, II.31: So women are never angrie, but to the end a man should againe be angrie with them, therein imitating the lawes of Love.
    • {{RQ:RBrtn AntmyMlncly}}, I.2.4.vii: Thus men are plagued with women, they again with men, when they are of diverse humours and conditions{{nb...}}.
    • 1852–3, Charles Dickens, Bleak House As he lies in the light before a glaring white target, the black upon him shines again{{nb...}}.
  4. Another time; once more. {{defdate}}
    • 1898, Winston Churchill (novelist) , The Celebrity, 8 , “The humor of my proposition appealed more strongly to Miss Trevor than I had looked for, and from that time forward she became her old self again;…. Our table in the dining-room became again the abode of scintillating wit and caustic repartee, Farrar bracing up to his old standard, and the demand for seats in the vicinity rose to an animated competition.”
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, 1 , [http://openlibrary.org/works/OL5535161W Mr. Pratt's Patients], 1 , “Thinks I to myself, “Sol, you're run off your course again. This is a rich man's summer ‘cottage’{{nb...}}.{{nb...}}.” So I started to back away again into the bushes. But I hadn't backed more'n a couple of yards when I see something so amazing that I couldn't help scooching down behind the bayberries and looking at it.”
    • 1931, Robert L. May, Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer, Montgomery Ward (publisher), draft: He tangled in tree-tops again and again / And barely missed hitting a tri-motored plane.
    • 1979, Charles Edward Daniels et al., “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” (song), Million Mile Reflections, Charlie Daniels Band, Epic Records: Johnny said, “Devil, just come on back if you ever want to try again / I done told you once, you son of a bitch, I’m the best that’s ever been.”
    • 2010, Simon Hattenstone, The Guardian, 30 October: The last sentence is so shocking, I have to read it again.
  5. Over and above a factor of one. {{defdate}}
    • 1908 December 10, Austin Hobart Clark, “New Genera and Species of Crinoids”, Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, Volume XXI, pp.229–230: Cirri l-lxxx, 15, about 12mm. long; first two joints short, about twice as broad as long; third about one-third again [=one and one-third times] as long as broad; fourth and fifth the longest, about half again [=one and a half times] as long as broad;{{nb...}}.
  6. Used metalinguistically, with the repetition being in the discussion, or in the linguistic or pragmatic context of the discussion, rather than in the subject of discussion. {{defdate}} exampleGreat, thanks again!
    1. Tell me again, say again; used in asking a question to which one may have already received the answer, but cannot remember it. exampleWhat's that called, again?
    2. I ask again, I say again; used in repeating a question or statement. exampleAgain, I'm not criticizing, I just want to understand.
    3. Here too, here also, in this case as well; used in applying a previously made point to a new instance; sometimes preceded by "here". exampleApproach B is better than approach A in many respects, but again, there are difficulties in implementing it.
      • {{RQ:BLwnds TLdgr}} A great bargain also had been the excellent Axminster carpet which covered the floor; as, again, the arm-chair in which Bunting now sat forward, staring into the dull, small fire.
  7. (obsolete) In any other place. {{rfquotek}}
  8. (obsolete) On the other hand.
    • {{rfdate}} William Shakespeare (1564–1616) The one is my sovereign…the other again is my kinsman.
  9. Moreover; besides; further.
    • {{rfdate}} Hersche Again, it is of great consequence to avoid, etc.
preposition: {{en-prep}}
  1. (obsolete or dialectal) Against.
    • 1485, Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur, Book X: And here begynneth the treson of Kynge Marke that he ordayned agayne Sir Trystram.
    • 1924, J H Wilkinson, Leeds Dialect Glossary and Lore, page 60 Ah'd like to wahrn (warn) thi agaan 'evvin owt to dew wi' that chap.
    • 2003, Glasgow Sunday Herald, page 16, column 2: You may think you are all on the same side, agin the government.
statistics:
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The pronunciation /əˈɡeɪn/ is chiefly poetic.

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