things discussed or written about earlier:[the + ~]All the above just proves what I've been saying.
heaven: a gift from above.
a higher authority: an order from above.
Idiomsabove all, most importantly; principally.
Both above and over can mean "higher than''. In expressions with numbers, esp. in measurements, it is more common to use over to mean "more than'': Over 600 students are enrolled here. But for numbers that are thought of as on a vertical scale of measurement, such as the temperature on a thermometer, above is used: Her temperature was almost three degrees above normal. Her SAT scores were well above average.
overhead, upstairs, or in the sky:My brother lives in the apartment above. A flock of birds circled above.
higher in rank, authority, or power:She was told to speak to the person above.
higher in quantity or number:books with 100 pages and above.
before or earlier, esp. in a book or other piece of writing; foregoing:the remark quoted above.Cf. below (def. 6).
in or to heaven:gone to her eternal rest above.
Zoologyon the upper or dorsal side.
Show Business[Theat.]upstage. Cf. below (def. 9).
higher than zero on the temperature scale:The temperature dropped to ten above this morning.
in or to a higher place than; over:to fly above the clouds; the floor above ours.
more in quantity or number than; in excess of:all girls above 12 years of age; The weight is above a ton.
superior in rank, authority, or standing to:A captain is above a lieutenant.
not subject or liable to; not capable of (some undesirable action, thought, etc.):above suspicion; to be above bad behavior.
of too fine a character for:He is above such trickery.
rather than; in preference to:to favor one child above the other.
beyond, esp. north of:six miles above Baltimore.
Show Business[Theat.]upstage of.
above all, most important of all; principally:charity above all.
said, mentioned, or written above; foregoing:the above explanation.
something that was said, mentioned, or written above:to refer to the above.
the person or persons previously indicated:The above will all stand trial.
heaven:truly a gift from above.
a higher authority:an order from above.
bef. 900; Middle English above(n) (Cf. aboon), Old English abufan, onbufan (a-1, on + bufan above (cognate with Dutch boven), equivalent. to b(e) by + ufan, cognate with Old Frisian uva, Old Saxon oban(a), Old High German obana, German oben, Old Norse ofan above; akin to over); see up; compare about for formation
Above as an adjective (the above data) or as a noun (study the above) referring to what has been mentioned earlier in a piece of writing has long been standard. A few critics object to these uses in general writing, believing that they are more appropriate in business or technical contexts; they occur, however, in all kinds of edited writing.