About Definition

Approximately; nearly.
The interview lasted about an hour.
American Heritage
On every side; all around.
Look about.
Webster's New World
The job is about done.
American Heritage
Here and there; in all directions.
Travel about.
Webster's New World
To a reversed position or direction.
Turn about and walk away slowly.
American Heritage
On all sides of; surrounding.
I found an English garden all about me.
American Heritage
Around; on all sides of.
Webster's New World
In the vicinity of; around.
Explored the rivers and streams about the estate.
American Heritage
Here and there in; everywhere in.
Rambling about the town.
Webster's New World
Almost the same as; close to; near.
American Heritage
Moving here and there; astir.
The patient is up and about.
American Heritage
Astir; on the move.
He is up and about again.
Webster's New World
Being in evidence or existence.
Rumors are about concerning his resignation.
American Heritage
In the vicinity; prevalent.
Typhoid is about.
Webster's New World
Ready; likely immediately.
I was about to speak.
Webster's New World

Idioms, Phrasal Verbs Related to About

  • be what something is all about

Origin of About

  • From Middle English aboute, abouten, from Old English abūtan, onbūtan, from on (“in, on”) + būtan (“outside of”), from be (“by”) + ūtan (“outside”).

    From Wiktionary

  • Middle English from Old English onbūtan on in on būtan outside ud- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English about (adverb).

    From Wiktionary

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