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1. Up to the time of: We danced until dawn.
2. Before (a specified time): She can't leave until Friday.
3. Scots Unto; to.
1. Up to the time that: We walked until it got dark.
2. Before: You cannot leave until your work is finished.
3. To the point or extent that: I talked until I was hoarse. See Usage Note at till2.

[Middle English : un-, up to (from Old Norse und; see ant- in Indo-European roots) + til, till; see till2.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


conj (subordinating)
1. up to (a time) that: he laughed until he cried.
2. (used with a negative) before (a time or event): until you change, you can't go out.
3. (often preceded by up) in or throughout the period before: he waited until six.
4. (used with a negative) earlier than; before: he won't come until tomorrow.
[C13 untill; related to Old High German unt unto, until, Old Norse und; see till1]
Usage: The use of until such time as (as in industrial action will continue until such time as our demands are met) is unnecessary and should be avoided: industrial action will continue until our demands are met
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



1. up to the time that or when; till.
2. before (usu. used in negative constructions): I didn't remember it until the meeting was over.
3. onward to or till (a specified time or occurrence): to work until 6 p.m.
4. before (usu. used in negative constructions): He did not go until night.
5. Scot. and North Eng. to; unto.
[1150–1200; Middle English untill]
usage: See till1.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.



Until and till can be prepositions or conjunctions. There is no difference in meaning between until and till. Till is more common in conversation, and is not used in formal writing.

1. used as prepositions

If you do something until or till a particular time, you stop doing it at that time.

He continued to teach until his death in 1960.
I said I'd work till 4 p.m.

If you want to emphasize that something does not stop before the time you mention, you can use up until, up till, or up to.

Up until 1950 coal provided over 90% of our energy needs.
Eleanor had not up till then taken part in the discussion.
Up to now they've had very little money.

If something does not happen until or till a particular time, it does not happen before that time.

Details will not be available until January.
We didn't get back till two.
2. used with 'after'

You can use until or till with phrases beginning with after.

He decided to wait until after Christmas to propose to Gertrude.
We didn't get home till after midnight.

Be Careful!
Don't use 'until' or 'till' to say that something will have happened before a particular time. Don't say, for example, 'The work will be finished until four o'clock'. You say 'The work will be finished by four o'clock'.

By 8.05 the groups were ready.
Total sales reached 1 million by 2010.
3. used with 'from'

From is often used with until or till to say when something finishes and ends.

The ticket office will be open from 10.00am until 1.00pm.
They worked from dawn till dusk.

In sentences like these, you can use to instead of 'until' or 'till'. Some American speakers also use through.

Open daily 1000-1700 from 23rd March to 3rd November.
I was in college from 1985 through 1990.

Be Careful!
You only use until or till when you are talking about time. Don't use these words to talk about position. Don't say, for example, 'She walked until the post office'. You say 'She walked as far as the post office'.

They drove as far as the Cantabrian mountains.
4. used as conjunctions

Instead of a noun phrase, you can use a subordinate clause after until or till. You often use the present simple in the subordinate clause.

They concentrate on one language until they go to university.
Stay here with me till help comes.

You can also use the present perfect in the subordinate clause.

I'll wait here until you have had your breakfast.

When you are talking about events in the past, you use the past simple or the past perfect in the subordinate clause.

The plan remained secret until it was exposed by the press.
He continued watching until I had driven off in my car.

Be Careful!
Don't use a future form in the subordinate clause. Don't say, for example 'Stay here with me till help will come' or 'I'll wait here until you will have had your breakfast'.

Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:


1. till, up to, up till, up to the time, as late as consumers who have waited until after the Christmas holiday
2. before, up to, prior to, in advance of, previous to, pre- The traffic laws don't take effect until the end of the year.
1. till, up to, up till, up to the time, as late as I waited until it got dark.
2. before, up to, prior to, in advance of, previous to The EC will not lift its sanctions until that country makes changes.
Usage: The use of until such time as (as in industrial action will continue until such time as our demands are met) is unnecessary and should be avoided: industrial action will continue until our demands are met. The use of up before until is also redundant and should be avoided: the talks will continue until (not up until) 23rd March.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002
dodokudnežaž do
hastahasta (que)hasta que
jusqu'àjusquejusqu’àjusqu’à ce que
til; fyrr en
kol ne
-e/a kadarkadar
cho đến khi


A. PREPhasta
until tenhasta las diez
until his arrivalhasta su llegada
he won't be back until tomorrowno volverá hasta mañana
from morning until nightdesde la mañana hasta la noche
until nowhasta ahora
it's never been a problem until nowhasta ahora nunca ha sido un problema
until thenhasta entonces
until then I'd never been to Italyhasta entonces no había estado nunca en Italia
1. (in future) → hasta que + subjun
wait until I get backespera hasta que yo vuelva
until they build the new roadhasta que construyan la nueva carretera
until they come/sleephasta que vengan/se duerman
he won't come until you invite himno vendrá hasta que (no) lo invites
they did nothing until we cameno hicieron nada hasta que (no) vinimos nosotros
I don't get up until eight o'clockno me levanto antes de las ocho
2. (in past) → hasta que + indic
he did nothing until I told him tono hizo nada hasta que yo se lo dije, no hizo nada hasta que no se lo dije
until they built the new roadhasta que construyeron la nueva carretera
we stayed there until the doctor camenos quedamos allí hasta que vino el médico
we didn't stop until we reached Yorkno paramos hasta llegar a York
 As with other time conjunctions, hasta que is used with the subjunctive if the action which follows hasn't happened yet or hadn't happened at the time of speaking:
Go on stirring until the sauce is cold Sigue removiendo hasta que se enfríe la salsa I shan't be happy until you come No estaré contenta hasta que (no) vengas
NOTE When the main clause is negative, no can optionally be given in the hasta que clause without changing the meaning.
 Hasta que is used with the indicative when the action in the hasta que clause has already taken place:
He lived in this house until he died Vivió en esta casa hasta que murió I didn't see her again until she returned to London No volví a verla hasta que (no) regresó a Londres
 Hasta que is also used with the indicative when describing habitual actions:
I never wake up until the alarm goes off Nunca me despierto hasta que (no) suena el despertador
 Instead of hasta que + ((VERB)), you can use hasta with an infinitive when the subject of both clauses is the same:
Go on stirring until you get a thick creamy mixture Sigue removiendo hasta obtener una crema espesa
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


I waited until ten o'clock → J'ai attendu jusqu'à dix heures.
until now → jusqu'à présent, jusqu'ici
It's never been a problem until now → Ça n'a jamais été un problème jusqu'à présent., Ça n'a jamais été un problème jusqu'à ici.
Until now, we haven't had the technology → Jusqu'à présent, nous n'avons pas eu la technologie nécessaire., Jusqu'ici, nous n'avons pas eu la technologie nécessaire.
until then → jusque-là
Until then I'd never been to France → Jusque-là je n'étais jamais allé en France.
from morning until night → du matin au soir, du matin jusqu'au soir
(after negative)avant
It won't be ready until next week → Ça ne sera pas prêt avant la semaine prochaine.
Until last year I'd never been to France → Avant l'année dernière, je n'étais jamais allé en France.
Not until then will we know the answer → Ce n'est pas avant que nous connaîtrons la réponse.
not until now → pas jusqu'à maintenant
(in future)jusqu'à ce que + subj, en attendant que + subj; (in past)jusqu'à ce que + subj, avant que + subj
We'll wait here until he comes → Nous attendrons ici jusqu'à ce qu'il vienne.
She waited until he had gone → Elle attendit jusqu'à ce qu'il soit parti.
I waited until it got dark → J'ai attendu qu'il fasse nuit.
until they build the new road → en attendant qu'ils fassent la nouvelle route
until they built the new road → avant qu'il ne fassent la nouvelle route
(after negative)avant que + subj
I have nothing to say until I see my lawyer → Je n'ai rien à dire avant que je ne voie mon avocat.
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


bis; from morning until nightvon morgens bis abends, vom Morgen bis zum Abend; until nowbis jetzt; until thenbis dahin
not until (in future) → nicht vor (+dat); (in past) → erst; I didn’t leave him until the following dayich habe ihn erst am folgenden Tag verlassen, ich bin bis zum nächsten Tag bei ihm geblieben; the work was not begun until 1990die Arbeiten wurden erst 1990 begonnen; I had heard nothing of it until five minutes agobis vor fünf Minuten wusste ich (noch) nichts davon, ich habe erst vor fünf Minuten davon gehört
bis; wait until I comewarten Sie, bis ich komme
not until (in future) → nicht bevor, erst wenn; (in past) → nicht bis, erst als; he won’t come until you invite himer kommt erst, wenn Sie ihn einladen; they did nothing until we camebis wir kamen, taten sie nichts; don’t start until I comefangen Sie nicht an, bevor ich da bin, fangen Sie erst an, wenn ich da bin; they didn’t start until we camesie fingen erst an, als wir da waren, sie fingen nicht an, bevor wir da waren
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


1. prepfino a; (after negative) → prima di
until now → finora
until then → fino ad allora
until such time as I decide otherwise → fino a quando non cambio idea
from morning until night → dalla mattina alla sera
until his arrival → fino al suo arrivo
I didn't know anything about it until 10 minutes ago → non ne sapevo niente fino a 10 minuti fa
2. conjfinché (non), fino a quando
I won't see her until I return → non la vedrò fino al mio ritorno
wait until I get back → aspetta finché torno
he did nothing until I told him → non ha mosso un dito finché non gliel'ho detto
we had a lovely view from here until they built the factory → qui si godeva une bella vista fino a quando non hanno costruito la fabbrica
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(ənˈtil) preposition, conjunction
to the time of or when. He was here until one o'clock; I won't know until I get a letter from him.

until is spelt with one l.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


إِلَى أَنْ, حَتَّى do, dokud før, indtil bis έως, έως ότου hasta, hasta que kunnes, saakka jusqu’à, jusqu’à ce que do, dok finché, fino a ・・・の時まで, ・・・まで ...까지 tot, totdat til , do até, até que до, пока till จนกระทั่ง, จนกว่า kadar cho đến khi 到...为止
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009