• Around


    • UK IPA: /əˈɹaʊnd/
    • US IPA: /əˈɹæwnd/
    • Rhymes: -aʊnd
    • Hyphenation: a + round

    Alternative forms


    From Middle English around, arounde, from a- (from Old English a- ("on, at")) + Middle English round ("circle, round"), equivalent to - + round. Cognate with Scots aroond, aroon ("around"). Displaced earlier Middle English umbe, embe ("around") (from Old English ymbe ("around")). See umbe.

    Full definition of around


    1. Defining a circle or closed curve containing a thing.
      • 2013, Henry Petroski, Geothermal Energy, Ancient nomads, wishing to ward off the evening chill and enjoy a meal around a campfire, had to collect wood and then spend time and effort coaxing the heat of friction out from between sticks to kindle a flame. With more settled people, animals were harnessed to capstans or caged in treadmills to turn grist into meal.
    2. I planted a row of lillies around the statue.   The jackals began to gather around or something.
    3. Following the perimeter of a specified area and returning to the starting point.
      We walked around the football field.   She went around the track fifty times.
    4. Following a path which curves near an object, with the object on the inside of the curve.
      • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, Mr. Pratt's Patients Chapter 1, I stumbled along through the young pines and huckleberry bushes. Pretty soon I struck into a sort of path that, I cal'lated, might lead to the road I was hunting for. It twisted and turned, and, the first thing I knew, made a sudden bend around a bunch of bayberry scrub and opened out into a big clear space like a lawn.
    5. The road took a brief detour around the large rock formation, then went straight on.
    6. (of distance, time) Near; in the vicinity of.
      • 2013-07-26, Leo Hickman, How algorithms rule the world, The use of algorithms in policing is one example of their increasing influence on our lives. And, as their ubiquity spreads, so too does the debate around whether we should allow ourselves to become so reliant on them – and who, if anyone, is policing their use.
    7. I left my keys somewhere around here.   I left the house around 10 this morning.   There isn't another house here for miles around.   I'll see you around neighbourhood, etc.
    8. At various places in.
      • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, Mr. Pratt's Patients Chapter 10, Men that I knew around Wapatomac didn't wear high, shiny plug hats, nor yeller spring overcoats, nor carry canes with ivory heads as big as a catboat's anchor, as you might say.
    9. The pages from the notebook were scattered around the room.   Those teenagers like to hang around the mall.



    1. (informal, with the verb "to be") Alive; existing.
      • 2013, Lee S. Langston, The Adaptable Gas Turbine, Turbines have been around for a long time—windmills and water wheels are early examples. The name comes from the Latin turbo, meaning vortex, and thus the defining property of a turbine is that a fluid or gas turns the blades of a rotor, which is attached to a shaft that can perform useful work.
    2. The record store on Main Street? Yes, it's still around.
      "How is old Bob? I heard that his health is failing."  "Oh, he's still around. He's feeling better now."

    Derived terms



    1. Generally.
    2. From place to place.
      There are rumors going around that the company is bankrupt.
      She went around the office and got everyone to sign the card.
      Look around and see what you find.
      We moved the furniture around in the living room.
      • 1898, Winston Churchill, The Celebrity Chapter 5, Then came a maid with hand-bag and shawls, and after her a tall young lady....She looked around expectantly, and recognizing Mrs. Cooke's maid...Miss Thorn greeted her with a smile which greatly prepossessed us in her favor.
      • 2013-05-11, The climate of Tibet: Pole-land, Of all the transitions brought about on the Earth’s surface by temperature change, the melting of ice into water is the starkest. It is binary. And for the land beneath, the air above and the life around, it changes everything.
    3. From one state or condition to an opposite or very different one; with a metaphorical change in direction; bringing about awareness or agreement.
      The team wasn't doing well, but the new coach really turned things around.
      He used to stay up late but his new girlfriend changed that around.
      The patient was unconscious but the doctor brought him around quickly.
      (see bring around, come around)
      I didn't think he would ever like the new design, but eventually we brought him around.
      (see bring around, come around)
    4. (with turn, spin, etc.) Partially or completely rotated, including to face in the opposite direction.
      Turn around at the end of this street.
      She spun around a few times.
    5. Used with verbs to indicate repeated or continuous action, or in numerous locations or with numerous people
      Stop kidding around. I'm serious.
      I asked around, and no-one really liked it.
      Shopping around can get you a better deal.
      When are you going to stop whoring around, find a nice girl, and give us grandchildren?
    © Wiktionary