after (adv., prep.)

Old English æfter "behind; later in time" (adv.); "behind in place; later than in time; in pursuit, following with intent to overtake" (prep.), from of "off" (see off (adv.)) + -ter, a comparative suffix; thus the original meaning was "more away, farther off." Compare Old Norse eptir "after," Old Frisian efter, Dutch achter, Old High German aftar, Gothic aftra "behind;" also see aft. Cognate with Greek apotero "farther off," Old Persian apataram "further."

From c. 1300 as "in imitation of." As a conjunction, "subsequent to the time that," from late Old English. After hours "hours after regular working hours" is from 1814. Afterwit "wisdom that comes too late" is attested from c. 1500 but seems to have fallen from use. After you as an expression in yielding precedence is recorded by 1650.

updated on December 05, 2018

Definitions of after from WordNet
after (adv.)
happening at a time subsequent to a reference time;
two hours after that
Synonyms: subsequently / later / afterwards / afterward / later on
after (adv.)
behind or in the rear;
and Jill came tumbling after
after (adj.)
located farther aft;
Etymologies are not definitions. From, not affiliated with etymonline.