from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adv. On all sides: dirty clothes lying around.
  • adv. In close to all sides from all directions: a field bordered around with tall trees.
  • adv. In a circle or with a circular motion: spun around twice.
  • adv. In circumference or perimeter: a pond two miles around.
  • adv. In succession or rotation: passed the collection plate around; seasons that rolled around each year.
  • adv. In or toward the opposite direction or position: wheeled around to face the attacker.
  • adv. To or among various places; here and there: wander around.
  • adv. To a specific place: Come around again sometime.
  • adv. In or near one's current location: waited around for the next flight.
  • adv. From the beginning to the end: frigid weather the year around.
  • adv. Approximately; about: weighed around 30 pounds; around $1.3 billion in debt.
  • prep. On all sides of: trees around the field.
  • prep. In such a position as to encircle or surround: a sash around the waist.
  • prep. Here and there within; throughout: on the political stump around the country.
  • prep. In the immediate vicinity of; near: She lives around Norfolk.
  • prep. On or to the farther side of: the house around the corner.
  • prep. So as to pass, bypass, or avoid: a way around an obstacle; got around the difficulty somehow.
  • prep. Approximately at: woke up around seven.
  • prep. In such a way as to have a basis or center in: an economy focused around farming and light industry.
  • adj. Being in existence: Our old dog is no longer around.
  • adj. Being in evidence; present: asked if the store manager was around.
  • idiom been around Informal Had many and varied experiences; been experienced in the ways of the world: a young executive who has been around.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • prep. Defining a circle or closed curve containing a thing.
  • prep. Following the perimeter of a specified area and returning to the starting point.
  • prep. Following a path which curves near an object, with the object on the inside of the curve
  • prep. Near; in the vicinity of.
  • prep. At various places in.
  • adj. Alive; existing.
  • adv. Generally.
  • adv. From place to place, or from one place to another
  • adv. Partially or completely rotated, including to face in the opposite direction.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adv. In a circle; circularly; on every side; round.
  • adv. In a circuit; here and there within the surrounding space; all about.
  • adv. Near; in the neighborhood.
  • prep. On all sides of; encircling; encompassing; so as to make the circuit of; about.
  • prep. From one part to another of; at random through; about; on another side of

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In a circle or sphere; round about; on every side: as, a dense mist lay around.
  • From place to place; here and there; about: as, to travel around from city to city. [U. S.]
  • About; near: as, he waited around till the fight was over. [U. S.]
  • About; on all sides; encircling; encompassing.
  • From place to place; at random: as, to roam around the country. [U. S.]

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adv. in circumference
  • adv. used of movement to or among many different places or in no particular direction
  • adv. to a particular destination either specified or understood
  • adv. (of quantities) imprecise but fairly close to correct
  • adv. all around or on all sides
  • adv. in a circle or circular motion
  • adv. in the area or vicinity
  • adv. from beginning to end; throughout
  • adv. in or to a reversed position or direction
  • adv. by a circular or circuitous route


Middle English : probably a-, in; see a-2 + round, circle; see round1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English around, arounde, from a- (from Old English a- ("on, at")) + Middle English round ("circle, round"), equivalent to a- +‎ round. Cognate with Scots aroond, aroon ("around"). Displaced earlier Middle English umbe, embe ("around") (from Old English ymbe ("around")). See umbe. (Wiktionary)


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