Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Language: Old English
Origin: siththan, from sith tham 'since that'

since

preposition, conjunction, adverb
     
since S1 W1
1 [generally used with a perfect tense in the main clause] from a particular time or event in the past until the present, or in that period of time:
We've been waiting here since two o'clock.
I haven't played rugby since I left university.
She left London ten years ago, and I haven't seen her since.
The factory has been here since the 1970s.
It was exactly five years since her father had died.
Since the end of the war over five thousand prisoners have been released.
He lost his job five years ago, but has since found other work.
I left school in 1995, and since then I've lived in London.
ever since (=all the time since)
We've been friends ever since we were at school together.
She's been terrified of the sound of aircraft ever since the crash.
We came to the UK in 1974 and have lived here ever since.
2 used to give the reason for something:
Since you are unable to answer, perhaps we should ask someone else.
3

since when?

spoken used in questions to show that you are very surprised or angry:
Since when have you been interested in my feelings?
4

long since

if something has long since happened, it happened a long time ago:
I've long since forgiven her for what she did.
WORD CHOICE: WORD CHOICE:

since, for, during, over
Use since to say that something started at a point in time in the past, and is still continuing He has been living in Leeds since 1998. We've known about it since May. Since is usually followed by a time expression ('last year', 'this morning', '4 o'clock' etc) or by the simple past tense. Use the present perfect or the past perfect in the other clause I have loved movies since I first went to the cinema. He had been seriously ill since Christmas.!! Speakers of British English usually say it is a long time/two weeks etc since..., and speakers of American English it has been a long time/two weeks etc since..., but both uses are correct It's weeks (BrE)/It's been weeks (AmE) since I saw Grandma. Use for when you state the length of time that something has been happening We have known each other for ten years (NOT since ten years). I had been waiting for hours (NOT since hours). I haven't seen him for ages (NOT since ages).During and over are used when you state the period of time in which something happens or changes During her first year at college, she had several boyfriends. Over the last six months, crime has doubled.

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