Etymology
Advertisement

away (adv.)

late Old English aweg, earlier on weg "on from this (that) place;" see a- (1) + way (n.).

Meaning "from one's own or accustomed place" is from c. 1300; that of "from one state or condition to another" is from mid-14c.; that of "from one's possession (give away, throw away) is from c. 1400. Colloquial use for "without delay" (fire away, also right away) is from earlier sense of "onward in time" (16c.). Meaning "at such a distance" (a mile away) is by 1712. Intensive use (as in away back) is American English, attested by 1818. Of sporting events played at the other team's field or court, by 1893.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of away
1
away (adv.)
from a particular thing or place or position (`forth' is obsolete);
the teacher waved the children away from the dead animal
ran away from the lion
wanted to get away from there
sent the children away to boarding school
Synonyms: off / forth
away (adv.)
from one's possession;
gave away the tickets
Synonyms: out
away (adv.)
out of the way (especially away from one's thoughts);
pushed all doubts away
Synonyms: aside
away (adv.)
out of existence; "tried to explain away the affair of the letter"- H.E.Scudder;
the music faded away
her fingernails were worn away
idled the hours away
away (adv.)
at a distance in space or time;
the boat was 5 miles off (or away)
the party is still 2 weeks off (or away)
away back in the 18th century
Synonyms: off
away (adv.)
indicating continuing action; continuously or steadily;
the child kept hammering away as if his life depended on it
he worked away at the project for more than a year
away (adv.)
so as to be removed or gotten rid of;
the rotted wood had to be cut away
cleared the mess away
away (adv.)
freely or at will;
fire away!
away (adv.)
in or into a proper place (especially for storage or safekeeping);
her jewels are locked away in a safe
filed the letter away
put the toys away
away (adv.)
in a different direction;
turn away one's face
glanced away
Synonyms: aside
away (adv.)
in reserve; not for immediate use;
has a nest egg tucked away for a rainy day
Synonyms: aside / by
2
away (adj.)
not present; having left;
he's away right now
you must not allow a stranger into the house when your mother is away
away (adj.)
used of an opponent's ground;
an away game
away (adj.)
(of a baseball pitch) on the far side of home plate from the batter;
the pitch was away (or wide)
Synonyms: outside
From wordnet.princeton.edu