Ready to, on the verge of, as in I was about to leave when it began to rain, or He hasn't finished yet but he's about to. This usage was first recorded in Miles Coverdale's 1535 translation of the Bible (Joshua 18:8).
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
How to use about to in a sentence
Prince George has that surprised, about-to-pass-wind look all babies being carried around have.
“I have no pity for that about-to-be-divorced woman who had been ready to live off the written words of someone else,” she writes.
And so, my about-to-be-fellow alumni, I wish you every success as you enter that never-ending graduate school called life.
Through the whole room, it seemed, swept a curious cottony sense of Something-About-to-Happen!Peace on Earth, Good-will to Dogs | Eleanor Hallowell Abbott
And Sivert walks on ahead with the transcendent smile of the martyr-about-to-be.Egholm and his God | Johannes Buchholtz
"My honour is the honour of this bridge," he would say to the about-to-be dismissed.Kipling Stories and Poems Every Child Should Know, Book II | Rudyard Kipling
As stated, the crew in the about-to-collapse boat was Stewart Edward White.When Winter Comes to Main Street | Grant Martin Overton
"My honour is the honour of this bridge," he would say to the about-to-be-dismissed.The Bridge-Builders | Rudyard Kipling