plural of 1 .
plural of 2 .
a long-eared, slow, patient, sure-footed domesticated mammal, Equus asinus, related to the horse, used chiefly as a beast of burden.
any wild species of the genus Equus, as the onager.
a stupid, foolish, or stubborn person.
a copper coin and early monetary unit of ancient Rome, originally having a nominal weight of a pound of 12 ounces: discontinued c80 b.c.
a unit of weight equal to 12 ounces.
the buttocks.
the rectum.
Slang. sexual intercourse.
Contemporary Examples

And every day, we bust our asses to continue “making it,” but we most certainly have not “made it.”
How Much Money Does a Band Really Make on Tour? Jack Conte December 7, 2014

“What they [the opposition leaders] do with their own asses is their own business, but they need to be serious,” he snarled.
Venezuela’s Antigay Politicians Mac Margolis August 17, 2013

They need to follow the lead of President Obama: Get their asses on offense and keep them there.
Health Care’s Air War Benjamin Sarlin August 4, 2009

We thanked them on stage for saving our asses and supporting indie music.
How Much Money Does a Band Really Make on Tour? Jack Conte December 7, 2014

As much as it pains Americans to admit this, Ronaldo saved our asses.
Why It’s Still OK to Hate Sexy Bastard Cristiano Ronaldo After He Saved Team USA Emily Shire June 25, 2014

Historical Examples

In the inscription to which reference has already been made, the price was eight asses.
The Satyricon, Complete Petronius Arbiter

How true is it, that “sailors make their money like horses, and spend it like asses!”
Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper

The price of a wreath is given in a graffito as three asses (p. 497).
Pompeii, Its Life and Art August Mau

My mother, who saw that I did not relish the asses’ milk, put in a word for me.
Tales And Novels, Volume 9 (of 10) Maria Edgeworth

It is sent down in barrels on the backs of asses, or mules, and served out by measure, according to the quantity procured.
A Voyage Round the World, Vol. I James Holman

conjunction (subordinating)
(often preceded by just) while; when; at the time that: he caught me as I was leaving
in the way that: dancing as only she can
that which; what: I did as I was told
(of) which fact, event, etc (referring to the previous statement): to become wise, as we all know, is not easy
as it were, in a way; so to speak; as if it were really so
as you were

a military command to withdraw an order, return to the previous position, etc
a statement to withdraw something just said

since; seeing that: as you’re in charge here, you’d better tell me where to wait
in the same way that: he died of cancer, as his father had done
in spite of the extent to which: intelligent as you are, I suspect you will fail
for instance: capital cities, as London
adverb, conjunction

used correlatively before an adjective or adverb and before a noun phrase or a clause to indicate identity of extent, amount, etc: she is as heavy as her sister, she is as heavy now as she used to be
used with this sense after a noun phrase introduced by the same: she is the same height as her sister

in the role of; being: as his friend, I am probably biased
as for, as to, with reference to: as for my past, I’m not telling you anything
(formal) as from, as of, (in expressions of time) from: fares on all routes will rise as from January 11
as if, as though, as it would be if: he talked as if he knew all about it
as is, as it is, in the existing state of affairs: as it is, I shall have difficulty finishing all this work, without any more
as per, See per (sense 3)
as regards, See regard (sense 6)
as such, See such (sense 3)
such as, See such (sense 5)
as was, in a previous state
as well, See well1 (sense 13)
as yet, up to now; so far: I have received no compensation as yet
an ancient Roman unit of weight approximately equal to 1 pound troy (373 grams)
the standard monetary unit and copper coin of ancient Rome
American Samoa
(chem) arsenic
Also A.S.. Anglo-Saxon
Australian Standards
either of two perissodactyl mammals of the horse family (Equidae), Equus asinus (African wild ass) or E. hemionus (Asiatic wild ass). They are hardy and sure-footed, having longer ears than the horse related adjective asinine
(not in technical use) the domesticated variety of the African wild ass; donkey
a foolish or ridiculously pompous person
(Irish, informal) not within an ass’s roar of, not close to obtaining, winning, etc: she wasn’t within an ass’s roar of it
(mainly US & Canadian, slang) the buttocks
(mainly US & Canadian, slang) the anus
(mainly US & Canadian, offensive, slang) sexual intercourse or a woman considered sexually (esp in the phrase piece of ass)
(slang, mainly US & Canadian) cover one’s ass, to take such action as one considers necessary to avoid censure, ridicule, etc at a later time

c.1200, worn-down form of Old English alswa “quite so” (see also), fully established by c.1400. Equivalent to so; any distinction in use is purely idiomatic. Related to German als “as, than,” from Middle High German also. Phrase as well “just as much” is recorded from late 15c.; the phrase also can imply “as well as not,” “as well as anything else.” Interjection of incredulity as if! (i.e. “as if that really could happen”) is attested from 1995, an exact duplication of Latin quasi.

beast of burden, Old English assa (Old Northumbrian assal, assald) “he-ass,” probably from Old Celtic *as(s)in “donkey,” which (with German esel, Gothic asilus, Lithuanian asilas, Old Church Slavonic osl) ultimately is from Latin asinus, which is probably of Middle Eastern origin (cf. Sumerian ansu).

For al schal deie and al schal passe, Als wel a Leoun as an asse. [John Gower, “Confessio Amantis,” 1393]

Since ancient Greek times, in fables and parables, the animal typified clumsiness and stupidity (hence asshead, late 15c., etc.). To make an ass of oneself is from 1580s. Asses’ Bridge (c.1780), from Latin Pons Asinorum, is fifth proposition of first book of Euclid’s “Elements.” In Middle English, someone uncomprehending or unappreciative would be lik an asse that listeth on a harpe. In 15c., an ass man was a donkey driver.

slang for “backside,” first attested 1860 in nautical slang, in popular use from 1930; chiefly U.S.; from dialectal variant pronunciation of arse (q.v.). The loss of -r- before -s- attested in several other words (e.g. burst/bust, curse/cuss, horse/hoss, barse/bass). Indirect evidence of the change from arse to ass can be traced to 1785 (in euphemistic avoidance of ass “donkey” by polite speakers) and perhaps to Shakespeare, if Nick Bottom transformed into a donkey in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (1594) is the word-play some think it is. Meaning “woman regarded as a sexual object” is from 1942. Colloquial (one’s) ass “one’s self, one’s person” attested by 1958.

The symbol for the element arsenic.

AS abbr.
Latin auris sinistra (left ear)
The symbol for arsenic.


The buttocks; posterior; butt: a kick in the ass
The anus; asshole: You can take it and shove it up your ass
A person regarded solely as a sex partner or target; tail: She looks like good ass
Sexual activity; sexual gratification: He was out looking for ass
The whole self; the person •Used for emphasis and euphony: Get your ass out of here pronto/ I’m out in Kansas for the first time, my ass drafted

Related Terms

one’s ass is dragging, someone’s ass is on the line, bag ass, barrel ass, bet your boots, burn someone’s ass, bust one’s ass, candy ass, candy-assed, cold as hell, cover one’s ass, deadass, drag ass, drag one’s tail, dumb-ass, fall on one’s ass, flat-ass, flat on one’s ass, get one’s ass in gear, get one’s head out of one’s ass, get off one’s ass, get the lead out, give someone a pain, go pound salt, gripe one’s ass, one has had it, haul ass, have a bug up one’s ass, have someone’s ass, have one’s ass in a sling, have one’s head pulled, have one’s head up one’s ass, have lead in one’s pants, one’s head is up one’s ass, horse’s ass, in a pig’s eye, jump through one’s ass, kick ass, a kick in the ass, kiss my ass, kiss someone’s ass, man with a paper ass, my ass, no skin off my ass, not have a hair on one’s ass, not know one’s ass from one’s elbow, on one’s ass, out on one’s ass, a pain in the ass, piece of ass, pissy, pull something out of one’s ass, put one’s ass on the line, raggedy-ass, a rat’s ass, ratty, shag ass, shit-ass, sit on one’s ass, sit there with one’s finger up one’s ass, smart-ass, soft-ass, stand around with one’s finger up one’s ass, stick it, suck ass, tear off a piece, throw someone out on someone’s ass, tired-ass, up the ass, up to one’s ass in something, what’s-his-name, wild-ass, work one’s ass off
air speed
American Samoa
Associate in Science

frequently mentioned throughout Scripture. Of the domesticated species we read of, (1.) The she ass (Heb. ‘athon), so named from its slowness (Gen. 12:16; 45:23; Num. 22:23; 1 Sam. 9:3). (2.) The male ass (Heb. hamor), the common working ass of Western Asia, so called from its red colour. Issachar is compared to a strong ass (Gen. 49:14). It was forbidden to yoke together an ass and an ox in the plough (Deut. 22:10). (3.) The ass’s colt (Heb. ‘air), mentioned Judg. 10:4; 12:14. It is rendered “foal” in Gen. 32:15; 49:11. (Comp. Job 11:12; Isa. 30:6.) The ass is an unclean animal, because it does not chew the cud (Lev. 11:26. Comp. 2 Kings 6:25). Asses constituted a considerable portion of wealth in ancient times (Gen. 12:16; 30:43; 1 Chr. 27:30; Job 1:3; 42:12). They were noted for their spirit and their attachment to their master (Isa. 1:3). They are frequently spoken of as having been ridden upon, as by Abraham (Gen. 22:3), Balaam (Num. 22:21), the disobedient prophet (1 Kings 13:23), the family of Abdon the judge, seventy in number (Judg. 12:14), Zipporah (Ex. 4:20), the Shunammite (1 Sam. 25:30), etc. Zechariah (9:9) predicted our Lord’s triumphal entrance into Jerusalem, “riding upon an ass, and upon a colt,” etc. (Matt. 21:5, R.V.). Of wild asses two species are noticed, (1) that called in Hebrew _’arod_, mentioned Job 39:5 and Dan. 5:21, noted for its swiftness; and (2) that called _pe’re_, the wild ass of Asia (Job 39:6-8; 6:5; 11:12; Isa. 32:14; Jer. 2:24; 14:6, etc.). The wild ass was distinguished for its fleetness and its extreme shyness. In allusion to his mode of life, Ishmael is likened to a wild ass (Gen. 16:12. Here the word is simply rendered “wild” in the Authorized Version, but in the Revised Version, “wild-ass among men”).

In addition to the idiom beginning with
also see:

break one’s ass
chew out (one’s ass off)
cover one’s ass
drag one’s ass
kick ass
kick in the pants (ass)
kiss ass
make a fool (an ass) of
pain in the ass
stick it (up one’s ass)
you bet your ass


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