from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adverb On all sides.
  • adverb In close to all sides from all directions.
  • adverb In a circle or with a circular motion.
  • adverb In circumference or perimeter.
  • adverb In succession or rotation.
  • adverb In or toward the opposite direction or position.
  • adverb To or among various places; here and there.
  • adverb To a specific place.
  • adverb In or near one's current location.
  • adverb From the beginning to the end.
  • adverb Approximately; about.
  • preposition On all sides of.
  • preposition In such a position as to encircle or surround.
  • preposition Here and there within; throughout.
  • preposition In the immediate vicinity of; near.
  • preposition On or to the farther side of.
  • preposition So as to pass, bypass, or avoid.
  • preposition Approximately at.
  • preposition In such a way as to have a basis or center in.
  • adjective Being in existence.
  • adjective Being in evidence; present.
  • idiom (been around) Had many and varied experiences; been experienced in the ways of the world.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

  • adverb in circumference
  • adverb used of movement to or among many different places or in no particular direction
  • adverb to a particular destination either specified or understood
  • adverb (of quantities) imprecise but fairly close to correct
  • adverb all around or on all sides
  • adverb in a circle or circular motion


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

[Middle English : probably a-, in; see a– + round, circle; see round.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.