Definition of Of. Dictionary.


Of (&obreve_;v), prep. [AS. of of, from, off; akin to D. & OS. af, G. ab off, OHG. aba from, away, Icel., Dan., Sw., & Goth. af, L. ab, Gr. &unr_;, Skr. apa. Cf. Off, A- (2), Ab-, After, Epi-.] In a general sense, from, or out from; proceeding from; belonging to; relating to; concerning; -- used in a variety of applications; as:
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1. Denoting that from which anything proceeds; indicating origin, source, descent, and the like; as, he is of a race of kings; he is of noble blood.
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That holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
Luke i. 35.
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I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you.
1 Cor. xi. 23.
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2. Denoting possession or ownership, or the relation of subject to attribute; as, the apartment of the consul: the power of the king; a man of courage; the gate of heaven. “Poor of spirit.” Macaulay.
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3. Denoting the material of which anything is composed, or that which it contains; as, a throne of gold; a sword of steel; a wreath of mist; a cup of water.
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4. Denoting part of an aggregate or whole; belonging to a number or quantity mentioned; out of; from amongst; as, of this little he had some to spare; some of the mines were unproductive; most of the company.
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It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed.
Lam. iii. 22.
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It is a duty to communicate of those blessings we have received.
Franklin.
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5. Denoting that by which a person or thing is actuated or impelled; also, the source of a purpose or action; due to; as, they went of their own will; no body can move of itself; he did it of necessity.
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For it was of the Lord to harden their hearts.
Josh. xi. 20.
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6. Denoting reference to a thing; about; concerning; relating to; as, to boast of one's achievements; they talked of many things.
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Knew you of this fair work?
Shak.
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7. Denoting nearness or distance, either in space or time; from; as, within a league of the town; within an hour of the appointed time.
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8. Denoting identity or equivalence; -- used with a name or appellation, and equivalent to the relation of apposition; as, the continent of America; the city of Rome; the Island of Cuba.
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9. Denoting the agent, or person by whom, or thing by which, anything is, or is done; by.
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And told to her of [by] some.
Chaucer.
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He taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.
Luke iv. 15.
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[Jesus] being forty days tempted of the devil.
Luke iv. 1, 2.
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&hand_; The use of the word in this sense, as applied to persons, is nearly obsolete.
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10. Denoting relation to place or time; belonging to, or connected with; as, men of Athens; the people of the Middle Ages; in the days of Herod.
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11. Denoting passage from one state to another; from. [Obs.] “O miserable of happy.” Milton.
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12. During; in the course of.
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Not be seen to wink of all the day.
Shak.
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My custom always of the afternoon.
Shak.
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&hand_; Of may be used in a subjective or an objective sense. “The love of God” may mean, our love for God, or God's love for us.
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&hand_; From is the primary sense of this preposition; a sense retained in off, the same word differently written for distinction. But this radical sense disappears in most of its application; as, a man of genius; a man of rare endowments; a fossil of a red color, or of an hexagonal figure; he lost all hope of relief; an affair of the cabinet; he is a man of decayed fortune; what is the price of corn? In these and similar phrases, of denotes property or possession, or a relation of some sort involving connection. These applications, however all proceeded from the same primary sense. That which proceeds from, or is produced by, a person or thing, either has had, or still has, a close connection with the same; and hence the word was applied to cases of mere connection, not involving at all the idea of separation.
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Of consequence, of importance, value, or influence. -- Of late, recently; in time not long past. -- Of old, formerly; in time long past. -- Of one's self, by one's self; without help or prompting; spontaneously.
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Why, knows not Montague, that of itself
England is safe, if true within itself?
Shak.
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