about: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (u-bout'), [key]
— prep.
  1. of; concerning; in regard to: instructions about the work; a book about the Civil War.
  2. connected or associated with: There was an air of mystery about him.
  3. near; close to: a man about my height; about six o'clock.
  4. in or somewhere near: He is about the house.
  5. on every side of; around: the railing about the excavation.
  6. on or near (one's person): They lost all they had about them.
  7. so as to be of use to: Keep your wits about you.
  8. on the verge or point of (usually fol. by an infinitive): about to leave.
  9. here or there; in or on: to wander about the old castle.
  10. concerned with; engaged in doing: Tell me what it's about. Bring me the other book while you're about it.
  1. near in time, number, degree, etc.; approximately: It's about five miles from here.
  2. nearly; almost: Dinner is about ready.
  3. nearby; not far off: He is somewhere about.
  4. on every side; in every direction; around: Look about and see if you can find it.
  5. halfway around; in the opposite direction: to turn a car about.
  6. from one place to another; in this place or that: to move furniture about; important papers strewn about.
  7. in rotation or succession; alternately: Turn about is fair play.
  8. in circumference: a wheel two inches about.
    1. onto a new tack.
    2. onto a new course.
  1. moving around; astir: He was up and about while the rest of us still slept.
  2. in existence; current; prevalent: Chicken pox is about.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
See also: