What does "against the use of something" exactly mean in this phrase:

Dell posted an advisory against the use of Raid5 in any configuration…

Does it mean ‘not to use’ or ‘upon the use of?

  • 1
    It means that Dell advised against using...
    – Drew
    Apr 5, 2015 at 16:34

3 Answers 3


It means:

posted an advisory not to use Raid5 in any configuration


Another way to put it would be "against using". The Dell company posted an advisory against using Raid5...


Your first reading ("not to use") is correct. "Against" in this sense means the opposite of "for, in favour of, supporting, recommending".

While "against" can sometimes mean "about the possibility of", or "in case it should happen", indicating neutrality about whether the thing is good or bad, that's unusual. Except where it means "physically next to" (e.g. "stand against the wall"), modern usage of "against" usually means you don't want something to happen. And according to OEtymD, "against" historically meant "in opposition to", which suggests that the sense of "that's bad and we're trying to stop it" has always been the primary sense.

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