Above vs Over - What's the difference?

above | over |

As prepositions the difference between above and over

is that above is physically over; on top of; worn on top of, as clothing while over is on top of; above; higher than; further up.

As adverbs the difference between above and over

is that above is directly overhead; vertically on top of while over is (us) again; another time; once more; over again.

As adjectives the difference between above and over

is that above is of heaven; heavenly while over is finished; ended or concluded.

As nouns the difference between above and over

is that above is heaven while over is (cricket) a set of six legal balls bowled.

As a interjection over is

in radio communications: end of sentence, ready to receive reply.




(English prepositions)
  • Physically over; on top of; worn on top of, as clothing.
  • In or to a higher place; higher than; on or over the upper surface; — opposed to below'' or ''beneath .
  • * (rfdate) Translation of (Genesis) 2:20,
  • Fowl that may fly above the earth.
  • *
  • , title=(The Celebrity), chapter=5 , passage=Then came a maid with hand-bag and shawls, and after her a tall young lady. She stood for a moment holding her skirt above the grimy steps,
  • * {{quote-magazine, year=2013, month=May-June, author=[http://www.americanscientist.org/authors/detail/william-e-conner-1 William E. Conner]
  • , title=[http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/feature/2013/3/an-acoustic-arms-race An Acoustic Arms Race] , volume=101, issue=3, page=206-7, magazine=(American Scientist) , passage=Earless ghost swift moths become “invisible” to echolocating bats by forming mating clusters close (less than half a meter) above vegetation and effectively blending into the clutter of echoes that the bat receives from the leaves and stems around them.}}
  • Farther north than.
  • Rising; appearing out of reach height-wise.
  • Figuratively, higher than; superior to in any respect; surpassing; higher in measure, degree, volume, or pitch, etc. than; out of reach; not exposed to; not likely to be affected by; incapable of negative actions or thoughts.
  • * (rfdate) (Marlowe),
  • Thy worth […] is actions above my gifts.
  • * (rfdate) translation of 36:13,
  • I saw in the way a light from heaven above the brightness of the sun.
  • Higher in rank, status, or position.
  • In addition to; besides.
  • Surpassing in number or quantity; more than; as, above a hundred.
  • In preference to.
  • Too proud to stoop; averse to; disinclined; too honorable to give.
  • (theater) Upstage.
  • Beyond; on the other side.
  • Usage notes

    * (surpassing in number or quantity) Passing into the adverbial sense.

    Derived terms

    * above all * above average * above one's bend * above the law * above the salt * over and above


  • Directly overhead; vertically on top of.
  • * {{quote-magazine, title=The climate of Tibet: Pole-land
  • , date=2013-05-11, volume=407, issue=8835, page=80 , magazine=(The Economist) , url=http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21577341-worlds-third-largest-area-ice-about-undergo-systematic , passage=Of all the transitions brought about on the Earth’s surface by temperature change, the melting of ice into water is the starkest. It is binary. And for the land beneath, the air above and the life around, it changes everything.}}
  • Higher in the same page; earlier in the order as far as writing products go.
  • * (rfdate)
  • That was said above .
  • Into or from heaven; in the sky.
  • He's in a better place now, floating free as the clouds ''above .
  • In a higher place; upstairs; farther upstream.
  • Higher in rank, power, or position.
  • He appealed to the court above .
  • (archaic) In addition.
  • More in number.
  • Above zero; above freezing.
  • It was a cold day at only 5 above .
  • (biology) On the upper half or the dorsal surface of an animal.
  • The sparrow I saw was rufous above and off-white below.

    Derived terms

    * "Above" is also used as the first part of a compound in the sense of before'', ''previously''; as, ''above''-cited, ''above''-described, ''above''-mentioned, ''above''-named, ''above''-said, ''above''-specified, ''above''-written, ''above -given.


  • Of heaven; heavenly.
  • Being located higher on the same page or on a preceding page.
  • Usage notes

    * Above is often used elliptically as an adjective by omitting the word said'', ''mentioned'', ''quoted , or the like: ** the above (-said) observations ** the above (-cited) reference ** the above (-quoted) articles


  • Heaven.
  • Something, especially a person's name in legal documents, that appears higher on the same page or on a preceding page.
  • Higher authority.
  • Usage notes

  • Above is often used further elliptically as a noun by omitting the noun, where it is should be clear what is omitted.
  • See the above .


    * Andrea Tyler and Vyvyan Evans, "The vertical axis", in The Semantics of English Prepositions: Spatial Scenes, Embodied Meaning and Cognition , Cambridge University Press, 2003, 0-521-81430 8 * *



    (wikipedia over)


    (en adjective)
  • Finished; ended or concluded.
  • The show is over .

    Derived terms



  • Thoroughly; completely; from beginning to end.
  • * 1661 , , The Life of the most learned, reverend and pious Dr. H. Hammond
  • During the whole time of his abode in the university he generally spent thirteen hours of the day in study; by which assiduity besides an exact dispatch of the whole course of philosophy, he read over in a manner all classic authors that are extant
  • From an upright position to being horizontal.
  • Horizontally; left to right or right to left.
  • From one position or state to another.
  • Overnight (throughout the night).
  • Again; another time; once more; over again.
  • Noun

    (en noun)
  • (cricket) A set of six legal balls bowled.
  • Any surplus amount of money, goods delivered, etc.
  • * 2008 , G. Puttick, Sandy van Esch, The Principles and Practice of Auditing (page 609)
  • ...standard cash count forms used to record the count and any overs or unders.


    (English prepositions)
  • Physical positioning.
  • # On top of; above; higher than; further up.
  • #* (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow) (1807-1882)
  • Over them gleamed far off the crimson banners of morning.
  • #* {{quote-magazine, year=2013, month=September-October, author=(Henry Petroski)
  • , magazine=(American Scientist), title= The Evolution of Eyeglasses , passage=The ability of a segment of a glass sphere to magnify whatever is placed before it was known around the year 1000, when the spherical segment was called a reading stone,
  • # Across or spanning.
  • #* (Francis Bacon) (1561-1626)
  • Certain lakespoison birds which fly over them.
  • #* , chapter=3
  • , title= Mr. Pratt's Patients , passage=My hopes wa'n't disappointed. I never saw clams thicker than they was along them inshore flats. I filled my dreener in no time, and then it come to me that 'twouldn't be a bad idee to get a lot more, take 'em with me to Wellmouth, and peddle 'em out. Clams was fairly scarce over that side of the bay and ought to fetch a fair price.}}
  • #* {{quote-magazine, date=2013-06-29, volume=407, issue=8842, page=72-3, magazine=(The Economist)
  • , title= A punch in the gut , passage=Mostly, the microbiome is beneficial. It helps with digestion and enables people to extract a lot more calories from their food than would otherwise be possible. Research over the past few years, however, has implicated it in diseases from atherosclerosis to asthma to autism.}}
  • # In such a way as to cover.
  • # From one physical position to another via an obstacle that must be traversed vertically, first upwards and then downwards.
  • By comparison.
  • # More than; to a greater degree.
  • # Beyond; past; exceeding; too much or too far.
  • # (label) As compared to.
  • (label) Divided by.
  • Finished with; done with; from one state to another via a hindrance that must be solved or defeated; or via a third state that represents a significant difference from the first two.
  • While]] using, (especially) while [[consume, consuming.
  • * 1990 , (Seymour Chatman), Coming to Terms , , ISBN 0801497361, page 100[http://books.google.com/books?id=loD1JXOtmTYC&pg=PA100&dq=relax]:
  • Six diners in business clothes—five attractive young women and a balding middle-aged man—relax over cigarettes.
  • * 1998 , Marian Swerdlow, Underground Woman , , ISBN 1566396107, page 88 [http://books.google.com/books?id=jIK3DGkOwYkC&pg=PA88&dq=croissants]:
  • Sunday had been my favorite day at Woodlawn. A long W.A.A. [="work as assigned" period], having coffee and croissants with Mark over the Sunday Times .
  • * 2009 , Sara Pennypacker, The Great Egyptian Grave Robbery , , ISBN 9780545207867, page 79:
  • Over meatloaf and mashed potatoes (being careful not to talk with his mouth full), Stanley told about his adventure.
  • Concerning or regarding.
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2013-08-10, volume=408, issue=8848, magazine=(The Economist)
  • , title= Can China clean up fast enough? , passage=It has jailed environmental activists and is planning to limit the power of judicial oversight by handing a state-approved body a monopoly over bringing environmental lawsuits.}}
  • Above, implying superiority after a contest; in spite of; notwithstanding.
  • Usage notes

    When used in the context of "from one location to another", over'' implies that the two places are at approximately the same height or the height difference is not relevant. For example, if two offices are on the same floor of a building, an office worker might say ''I'll bring that over''' for you'', while if the offices were on different floors, the sentence would likely be ''I'll bring that up [down] for you.'' However, distances are not constrained, e.g. ''He came '''over''' from England last year and now lives in Los Angeles'' or ''I moved the stapler '''over to the other side of my desk.


    (en interjection)
  • In radio communications: end of sentence, ready to receive reply.
  • How do you receive? Over !


    * Andrea Tyler and Vyvyan Evans, "The semantic network for over''", in ''The Semantics of English Prepositions: Spatial Scenes, Embodied Meaning and Cognition , Cambridge University Press, 2003, 0-521-81430 8