Definition: to stand in opposition to

Why I Looked It Up

William F. Buckley famously said:

A conservative is someone who stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it.


Added on August 28, 2022

From the novel REAMDE:

After a few agonizingly slow and controversial minutes of this kind of progress, they came athwart of an alley, no wider than a doorway, on their right side.

In this context, I think it means “perpendicular.” The characters were in a van at the time, and so they would have been across the opening of he alley.

Indeed, Merrium includes this as a definition:

across especially in an oblique direction

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