About meaning

ə-bout
About means moving around.

An example of a person who is up and about is a teacher standing and walking around a classroom.

adjective
11
4
About means almost.

An example of a job that is about finished would be a job that is almost completed.

adverb
10
4
About is defined as something close or approximate.

An example of the time being about noon would be 11:59 am.

preposition
8
4
The definition of about is being in reference to or concerning something.

A book with information about daisies is a book about flowers.

preposition
5
2
In the vicinity of; around.

Explored the rivers and streams about the estate.

preposition
2
0
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Almost the same as; close to; near.
preposition
1
0
Moving here and there; astir.

The patient is up and about.

adjective
1
0
Being in evidence or existence.

Rumors are about concerning his resignation.

adjective
1
0
On every side; all around.

Look about.

adverb
1
0
Here and there; in all directions.

Travel about.

adverb
1
0
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In circumference; around the outside.

Ten miles about.

adverb
1
0
Near.

Standing somewhere about.

adverb
1
0
In the opposite direction; to a reversed position.

Turn it about.

adverb
1
0
In succession or rotation.

Play fair—turn and turn about.

adverb
1
0
Approximately.

About four years old, about room temperature.

adverb
1
0
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All but; almost; nearly.

About ready, about the nicest man we've met.

adverb
0
0
Astir; on the move.

He is up and about again.

adjective
0
0
In the vicinity; prevalent.

Typhoid is about.

adjective
0
0
Around; on all sides of.
preposition
0
0
Here and there in; everywhere in.

Rambling about the town.

preposition
0
0
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Near to in time or space.

Born about 1960, keeping my keys about me.

preposition
0
0
Concerned with; attending to.

Go about your business.

preposition
0
0
On the subject of; concerning.

A book about ships.

preposition
0
0
In connection with; pertaining to.

The most interesting thing about her.

preposition
0
0
In a circle around; all round; on every side of; on the outside of. [First attested prior to 1150.]
preposition
0
0
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Near; not far from; regarding approximately time, size, quantity; on the point or verge of. [First attested prior to 1150.]

The show is about to start; I am not about to admit to your crime.

preposition
0
0
On one's person; nearby the person. [First attested around (1150 to 1350.)]
preposition
0
0
Over or upon different parts of; through or over in various directions; here and there in; to and fro in; throughout. [First attested around (1150 to 1350.)]
preposition
0
0
Concerned with; engaged in; intent on. [First attested around (1150 to 1350.)]
preposition
0
0
Concerning; with regard to; on account of; on the subject of; to affect. [First attested around (1150 to 1350.)]

He knew more about what was occurring than anyone.

preposition
0
0
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(figuratively) In or near, as in mental faculties or (literally) in possession of; in control of; at one's command; in one's makeup. [First attested around (1350 to 1470.)]

He has his wits about him.

preposition
0
0
In the immediate neighborhood of; in contiguity or proximity to; near, as to place. [First attested around (1350 to 1470.)]
preposition
0
0
On all sides; around. [First attested prior to 1150.]
adverb
0
0
Here and there; around; in one place and another; up and down. [First attested prior to 1150.]
adverb
0
0
In succession; one after another; in the course of events. [First attested prior to 1150.]
adverb
0
0
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Nearly; approximately; with close correspondence, in quality, manner, degree, quantity, or time; almost. [First attested prior to 1150.]

About as cold; about as high.

adverb
0
0
On the move; active; astir. [First attested around (1150 to 1350.)]
adverb
0
0
Near; in the vicinity. [First attested around (1150 to 1350.)]
adverb
0
0
To a reversed order; half round; facing in the opposite direction; from a contrary point of view. [First attested around (1150 to 1350.)]

To face about; to turn one's self about.

adverb
0
0
(archaic) In circuit; circularly; by a circuitous way; around the outside; in circumference. [First attested around (1350 to 1470.)]

A mile about, and a third of a mile across.

adverb
0
0
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(nautical) To the opposite tack. [First attested in the late 15th century.]
adverb
0
0
(chiefly North America, colloquial) Going to; on the verge of; intending to. [First attested in the early 16th century.]
adverb
0
0
Moving around; astir.

Out and about; up and about.

adjective
0
0
In existence; being in evidence; apparent;
adjective
0
0
Normally active and capable.

After my bout with Guillan-Barre Syndrome, it took me 6 months to be up and about again.

adjective
0
0
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Approximately; nearly.

The interview lasted about an hour.

adverb
0
1
Almost.

The job is about done.

adverb
0
1
To a reversed position or direction.

Turn about and walk away slowly.

adverb
0
1
In no particular direction.

Wandering about with no place to go.

adverb
0
1
All around; on every side.

Let's look about for help.

adverb
0
1
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In the area or vicinity; near.

Spoke to a few spectators standing about.

adverb
0
1
In succession; one after another.

Turn about is fair play.

adverb
0
1
On all sides of; surrounding.

I found an English garden all about me.

preposition
0
1
In the possession or innate character of.

Keep your wits about you.

preposition
0
1
be what something is all about
  • To be the true purpose of or reason for something.
idiom
0
0

Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

be what something is all about

Origin of about

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

    From Wiktionary

  • From Middle English about (adverb).

    From Wiktionary