I understand that the meaning of the phrase “as of” is time related, e.g.: takes effect as of July 1.

But while looking up on in Collins Dictionary, I found a use of "as of" that didn't make sense to me. In #13, it says: “as of a statement or action”.

The same situation I found in #20: ”as of a mechanical operation”.

In #28 I found a similar phrase: ”as on stage”.

I have trouble in understanding these three definitions, so would you please explain their meaning?

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I think you are confused between as of whole as a preposition and as and of as two separate words!

as of (preposition) - from that time


used to indicate the basis, grounds, or cause, as [of a statement or action] - of here means about that statement/action.

As of (something) can also mean someone's something in that context/condition.

The example of other as of...

For I heard a cry as of a woman in labor, The anguish as of one giving birth to her first child, The cry of the daughter of Zion gasping for breath, Stretching out her hands, saying, "Ah, woe is me, for I faint before murderers - Jeremiah 4:31 (Bible)

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  • 1
    Yes, you’ve got my confusion! – Lucian Sava Apr 9 '14 at 12:01
  • @LucianSava I understand you well then ;) – Maulik V Apr 9 '14 at 12:02

"as of" you can read as a short form of:

"as we would say about the following".

That meaning is certainly not time-related; "of" here means "about".

If we look, for instance at you #20: (Keeping in mind we are talking about the adverb on here!)

in the position or state required for the commencement or sustained continuation, as of a mechanical operation ⇒ the radio's been on all night

Dictionaries leave out a lot of text because it would become very repetitive. The full explanation here would read:

"on", as an adverb, can also mean "in the position or state required for the commencement or sustained continuation", as we could say about a mechanical operation ⇒ the radio's been on all night (meaning, the radio has been is a state required for sustained continuation of the radio's function).

As for #28:

performing, as on stage ⇒ I'm on in five minutes

"on", as an adjective, can be used to mean "performing", as people do on a stage ⇒ I'm on in five minutes, meaning I will be performing on stage in five minutes.

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