Side by side: ships docked two abreast.
1. Even with or by the side of another: “In the arena, we walked around, practicing good manners--when we were abreast, we kept going and didn't let the horses argue” (Jane Smiley).
2. Up to date: “Lincoln was a serious philosophical thinker who kept abreast of the leading ideas of his time” (Joshua Wolf Shenk).
In or into a position by the side of another: “Jane came out into the light and stood abreast the long white columns of the porch” (Joshua Ferris).
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.