Meaning of AROUND in English


a ‧ round S1 W1 /əˈraʊnd/ BrE AmE adverb , preposition

1 . surrounding or on all sides of something or someone SYN round British English :

The whole family was sitting around the dinner table.

The Romans built a defensive wall around the city.

She wore a beautiful silk shawl around her shoulders.

People crowded around to see what was happening.

We would hear the birds singing all around us.

2 . moving in a circle SYN round British English :

A helicopter was circling around, looking for somewhere to land.

They danced around the bonfire.

3 . in or to many places or parts of an area SYN about British English :

He wandered around the streets, looking in shop windows.

There are over 40 radio stations dotted around the country.

When I finished college, I travelled around for a while.

Since it’s your first day here, would you like me to show you around?

We started looking around for somewhere to live.

4 .

a) British English in an area near a place or person SYN round :

Is there a bank around here?

When you’ve been around a person long enough, you start to know how they’ll react.

the new housing areas in and around Dublin

Catherine was the most beautiful girl for miles around.

b) if someone or something is around, they are somewhere in the place where you are:

Why is there never a policeman around when you need one?

Jake went down to the bar, but there was no one around that he knew.

Is your dad around?

The list is somewhere around.

5 . British English on the other side of something, or to the other side of it without going through it or over it SYN round :

If the gate’s locked, you’ll have to go around the side of the house.

There’s a door around the back.

She ran around the corner and straight into the arms of John Delaney.

6 . used to say that someone or something turns so that they face in the opposite direction SYN round British English :

Rex spun around and kicked the gun from her hand.

Slowly he turned the boat around towards the open sea.

7 . ( also around about ) used when guessing a number, amount, time etc, without being exact:

There must have been around 40,000 people in the stadium.

The whole project will probably cost around $3 million.

Most guests started to make their way home around about ten o'clock.

8 . existing SYN about British English :

That joke’s been around for years.

Manson has a reputation as one of the most stylish designers around.

9 . if something is organized around a particular person or thing, it is organized according to their needs, wishes, ideas etc:

Why does everything have to be arranged around what Callum wants to do?

Their whole society was built around their religious beliefs.

10 . used to show that someone spends time in a place without doing anything useful SYN about British English :

I’ve been waiting around all morning.

They could be seen hanging around street corners, watching the girls go by.

11 . a way around a difficult situation or problem is a way to solve it or avoid it SYN round British English :

We must find a way around these difficulties.

The company is expected to get around this problem by borrowing from the banks.

12 . to other people or positions SYN round British English :

Write your name on this list and pass it around.

Someone’s been moving the furniture around.

13 . have been around ( also have been around the block a few times ) informal

a) to have had experience of many different situations so that you can deal with new situations confidently:

You could tell this guy had been around a bit by the knowing way he talked.

b) to have had many sexual experiences – used humorously

14 . American English used to show the length of a line surrounding something:

Redwood trees can measure 30 or 40 feet around.

⇨ ↑ round 1 , ⇨ get around (something) at ↑ get around (1), ⇨ go around in circles at ↑ circle 1 (5)

• • •


▪ approximately more or less than a number or amount – used especially in technical or scientific contexts:

The company had total revenues of approximately $2 million.


The disease affects approximately 10% of the adult population.

▪ about more or less than a number or amount. ‘About’ is the usual word to use in everyday English:

It costs about $30 to get a visa.


There were about 50 people at the meeting.

▪ roughly /ˈrʌfli/ about – used when you are trying to give someone a general idea of the size, amount, or number of something:

The two countries are roughly the same size.


Roughly how many miles do you travel a year?

▪ around about a number or time – used when you are guessing:

I’ll be there around 5 o'clock.


The BBC broadcasts around 2,000 radio dramas every year.

▪ somewhere/something in the region of formal about – used with very large numbers or amounts:

Last year he earned something in the region of $60 million.


It costs somewhere in the region of £100,000 to train a new doctor.

▪ or so informal about – used after a period of time, a number, or an amount:

The journey takes an hour or so.

▪ circa /ˈsɜːkə $ ˈsɜːr-/ formal about – used with dates a long time ago in the past:

The house was built circa 1530.

▪ or more used after a number or amount, when the total may be a lot more:

A thirty-second commercial can cost £60,000 or more.

▪ upwards of more than a number or amount:

The aircraft can carry upwards of 400 passengers.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.