1 when a particular time or event has happened or is finished: After the war many soldiers stayed in France. | I go swimming every day after work. | It's on after the 9 o'clock news. | Do you believe in life after death? | 2 days/3 weeks etc after sth: A few months after his birth we discovered that our son was deaf. | the day/week/year after sth: We leave the day after tomorrow. | soon/not long/shortly after sth: Not long after the wedding his wife got ill. | straight after sth (=immediately after): Come home straight after the performance. | come after sth (=happen after something): The first bomb attack came after midnight-see since 32 following someone or something else in a list, series, piece or writing, line of people etc: Whose name is after yours on the roll? | The date should be written after the address.3 when a particular amount of time has passed: After 10 minutes remove the cake from the oven. | After a while things started to improve. | After months of argument they decided to divorce.4 AmE used when telling the time to say how many minutes it is after the hour: The movie starts at a quarter after seven.5 day after day/year after year etc continuously for a very long time: He's worked in that hell-hole week after week, year after year, since he was 18.6 when someone has left a place, has finished doing something etc: Remember to close the door after you. | I spend all day cleaning up after the kids.7 go/run/chase etc after sb to follow someone in order to catch them: Go after him and apologize.8 because of something or as a result of something: I'm not surprised he walked out, after the way she treated him. | After your letter, I didn't think I'd ever see you again.9 in spite of something: After all my hard work she still says it isn't neat enough.10 call/shout/gaze etc after sb to speak to or look towards someone as they move away from you: "You have a nice day, now!" she called after us.11 be after sb/stha) to be looking for someone or something: Police are after a short man with a tattoo on his cheek. | "Were you after anything in particular?" "No, we're just looking."b) informal to want to have something that belongs to someone else: I think Chris is after my job.12 one after another/one after the other if a series of events, actions etc happen one after another, each one happens soon after the previous one: Ever since we moved into this house it's been one problem after another.13 after alla) used to say that something is true or is a fact, in spite of another fact or situation: He wrote to say they couldn't give me a job after all.b) used to say that something should be remembered or considered, because it helps to explain why something else is true or is a fact: I don't know why you're so concerned, it isn't your problem after all.14 used when listing or naming things, to mean that you have not included a particular thing because that is the first or best one: After dancing, going to the movies is my favorite weekend activity.15 especially BrE given the same name as someone else, especially an older member of your family: His name is Alessandro, after his grandfather.16 formal in the same style as a particular painter, musician etc: a painting after Rembrandt17a) after you spoken used to say politely that someone else can use or do something before you do: "Do you need the copier?" "After you."b) after you with used to ask someone if you can have or use something after they have finished: After you with that knife, please.-see also: a man/woman after my own heart heart, take after take 1 USAGE NOTE: AFTER WORD CHOICE: after (prep), in, after (adv), afterwards, later You use after (prep) to talk about something that happens at the end of a period of time that is different from something that happens within that period: After a few days I felt much better (=not until a few days had passed). You use in to talk about something that will happen before a period of time has finished: You'll feel better in a few days (=by the time a few days has passed). After (prep) is more often used to talk about events in the past, and in about the future: She left after an hour (=after an hour had passed). | She'll be leaving in an hour (=after an hour has passed). After (adv) with the meaning `afterwards' usually follows another time adverb: We arrived just/soon/shortly after. With words that show a length of time, afterwards or later is more usual: She arrived three days afterwards/later (NOT usually three days after, though you could say after that). If you want to use a word with this meaning on its own, you would usually use afterwards: We went swimming and walked home afterwards. However, in informal British spoken English people sometimes say after: We went swimming and walked home after. You would not usually begin a sentence with after, though: Afterwards/After that, we left (NOT After, we left). 2 conjunction when a particular time or event has happened or is finished: After you'd called the police, what did you do? | He changed his name after he left Germany. | two days/three weeks etc after: Ten years after I bought the painting I discovered it was fake. | shortly/soon/not long after: Shortly after the eggs have hatched, the mother goes off in search of food. 3 adverb after something that has already been mentioned; afterwards: What are you doing after? Do you want to go for a drink? | come after (=happen after something else has happened): Having lost the final pages, we can only guess at what might come after. | the day/the year etc after: Once you've purchased the washing machine we guarantee it for up to 5 years after. | shortly/soon/not long after: Not long after, I heard that Mike had been killed in the war. 4 adjective1 in after years literary in the years after the time that has been mentioned2 technical in the back part of a boat or an aircraft: the after deck
Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.