Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Language: Old English
Origin:

of

preposition
     
of S1 W1
1 used to show what a part belongs to or comes from:
the back of the house
the last scene of the movie
the end of the day
2 used to show who something or someone belongs to or has a connection with:
a friend of Mark's
Avocado salad is a favourite of mine.
Product inspection is the responsibility of the employees themselves.
3 used when talking about a feature or quality that something has:
the cost of the meal
the beauty of the scenery
the length of the swimming-pool
4XX used to show what group one or more things or people belong to:
some of the students
'Sunflowers' is one of his best-known paintings.
Two of the guests are vegetarian.
a member of the baseball team
5XX used to show what type of substance or thing you are referring to, when talking about an amount:
two kilos of sugar
millions of dollars
a bar of chocolate
6 used to say what something contains:
a cup of coffee
several packets of cigarettes
truckloads of refugees
7 used to say what type of things or people are in a group:
a herd of elephants
his circle of friends
a bunch of bananas
8XX
a) used to state specifically which thing of the general type mentioned you are referring to:
the city of New York
the art of painting
the problem of unemployment
b) used to state specifically what a particular number, amount, age etc is:
at the age of 52
an increase of 3%
9 used to talk about things produced by a famous or skilled writer, artist etc:
the plays of Shakespeare
the paintings of Picasso
the work of a great architect
10 used to say what a story, some news etc is about, or what a picture, map etc shows:
a story of love and loss
news of his arrest
a photo of Elizabeth
a map of Indonesia
11
a) used after nouns that refer to actions, or to people who do something, in order to show who or what the action is done to:
the cancellation of the meeting
the killing of innocent children
supporters of the project
b) used after nouns that refer to actions in order to show who or what does the action:
the ringing of the phone
the arrival of a visitor
12 used after some adjectives that describe feelings, to show who or what the feeling is directed towards:
He's always been frightened of spiders.
Most children want their parents to feel proud of them.
13 used when referring to the day, moment etc when something happened:
the day of the accident
the week of the festival
I was at home at the time of the murder.
14 used to say where something is in relation to a place or thing
north/south etc of something
a historic seaside town 99 km south of London
to the left/right of something
To the left of the sofa is a table.
I live within a mile of here.
15 used to describe a person or thing by saying what their main qualities or features are:
Albright was seen as a woman of great determination.
It's an area of considerable historical interest.
16 used to say what someone's age is:
He has two children, a boy of twelve and a girl of fifteen.
17

it is kind/stupid/careless etc of somebody (to do something)

used to say that someone's action shows a particular quality:
It was kind of you to remember my birthday.
18 used to say where someone comes from:
the people of China
Jesus of Nazareth
19 used to show the country, organization, or group in which someone has a particular position:
King Philip II of Spain
the secretary of the tennis club
20 used in dates before the name of the month:
the 27th of July
21 used to say when something happened:
the presidential election of 1825
one of the biggest upsets of recent years
22 American English spoken used in giving the time, to mean 'before' [= to British English]
It's a quarter of seven (=6.45).
23 used to show the cause of someone's death:
He died of cancer.
24 literary used to say what material has been used to make something:
a dress of pure silk
25

of an evening/of a weekend etc

British English in the evenings, at weekends etc:
We often used to walk by the river of an evening.
GRAMMAR GRAMMAR

To refer to someone or something that belongs to or is connected with someone, it is usual to use -'s or -s' (NOT of) with short noun phrases Dad's car (NOT the car of Dad) a child's bike (NOT the bike of a child) my sister's boyfriend (NOT the boyfriend of my sister) the miners' strike (NOT the strike of the miners) When referring to one of several people or things belonging to or connected with someone, or when using 'this' or 'that', use of + mine/yours/his/hers/ours/theirs a friend of mine (NOT a friend of me) a relation of ours (NOT a relation of us) that car of yours (NOT that car of you) To talk about the person who sang, wrote, painted, or composed a particular work, use by not of a song by Mariah Carey (NOT of Mariah Carey)

Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.

Explore our topic dictionary