along


along
\ \ [OE] The a- in along is related to the prefix anti-, and the original notion contained in the word is of ‘extending a long way in the opposite direction’. This was the force of Old English andlang, a compound formed from and- ‘against, facing’ (whose original source was Greek anti- ‘against’) and langlong’. The meaning gradually changed via simply ‘extending a long way’, through ‘continuous’ and ‘the whole length of something’ to ‘lengthwise’. At the same time the and- prefix was gradually losing its identity: by the 10th century the forms anlong and onlong were becoming established, and the 14th century saw the beginnings of modern English along.
\ \ But there is another along entirely, nowadays dialectal. Used in the phrase along ofwith’ (as in ‘Come along o’me!’), it derives from Old English gelongpertaining, dependent’. This was a compound formed from the prefix ge-, suggesting suitability, and long, of which the notions of ‘pertaining’ and ‘appropriateness’ are preserved in modern English belong.
\ \ Cf.LONG

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • along — [ə lôŋ′] prep. [ME < OE andlang, along, by the side of < and , over against + lang, in length: see LONG1] 1. on or beside the length of; over or throughout the length of [we hiked along the trail; along the driveway there is a hedge] 2. in… …   English World dictionary

  • Along — A*long (?; 115), adv. [OE. along, anlong, AS. andlang, along; pref. and (akin to OFris. ond , OHG. ant , Ger. ent , Goth. and , anda , L. ante, Gr. ?, Skr. anti, over against) + lang long. See {Long}.] 1. By the length; in a line with the length; …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Along — A*long [AS. gelang owing to.] (Now heard only in the prep. phrase {along of}.) [1913 Webster] {Along of}, {Along on}, often shortened to {Long of}, prep. phr., owing to; on account of. [Obs. or Low. Eng.] On me is not along thin evil fare.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Along of — Along A*long [AS. gelang owing to.] (Now heard only in the prep. phrase {along of}.) [1913 Webster] {Along of}, {Along on}, often shortened to {Long of}, prep. phr., owing to; on account of. [Obs. or Low. Eng.] On me is not along thin evil fare.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Along on — Along A*long [AS. gelang owing to.] (Now heard only in the prep. phrase {along of}.) [1913 Webster] {Along of}, {Along on}, often shortened to {Long of}, prep. phr., owing to; on account of. [Obs. or Low. Eng.] On me is not along thin evil fare.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • along — ► PREPOSITION & ADVERB 1) moving in a constant direction on (a more or less horizontal surface). 2) extending in a more or less horizontal line on. 3) in or into company with others. ● along with Cf. ↑along with ● be (or come) along …   English terms dictionary

  • Along — A*long , prep. By the length of, as distinguished from across. Along the lowly lands. Dryden. [1913 Webster] The kine . . . went along the highway. 1 Sam. vi. 12. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • along — [adv1] ahead forth, forward, on, onward; concept 581 along [adv2] together with accompanying, additionally, also, as companion, as well, at same time, besides, coupled with, furthermore, in addition to, likewise, moreover, side by side,… …   New thesaurus

  • along — adverb coupled with, forward, in company with, in conjunction with, lengthwise, side by side, together, with Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • Along — (baie d ) (Vinh Ha Long), baie du golfe du Tonkin (ou du Bac Bô), au N. E. de Haiphong. Elle est parsemée d innombrables blocs rocheux percés de grottes. Selon la légende, ce relief accidenté est dû au passage d un dragon (Long) qui descendit des …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • along — O.E. andlang entire, continuous; extended; all day long; alongside of, from and opposite, against (from P.Gmc. *andi , *anda from PIE *anti against, locative singular of *ant front, forehead; see ANTE (Cf. ante)) + lang long (see LONG …   Etymology dictionary


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