See more synonyms for around on
  1. in a circle, ring, or the like; so as to surround a person, group, thing, etc.: The crowd gathered around.
  2. on all sides; about: His land is fenced all around.
  3. in all directions from a center or point of reference: He owns the land for miles around.
  4. in a region or area neighboring a place: all the country around.
  5. in circumference: The tree was 40 inches around.
  6. in a circular or rounded course: to fly around and around.
  7. through a sequence or series, as of places or persons: to show someone around.
  8. through a recurring period, as of time, especially to the present or a particular time: when spring rolls around again.
  9. by a circuitous or roundabout course: The driveway to the house goes around past the stables.
  10. to a place or point, as by a circuit or circuitous course: to get around into the navigable channel.
  11. with a rotating course or movement: The wheels turned around.
  12. in or to another or opposite direction, course, opinion, etc.: Sit still and don't turn around. After our arguments, she finally came around.
  13. back into consciousness: The smelling salts brought her around.
  14. in circulation, action, etc.; about: He hasn't been around lately. The play has been around for years. When will she be up and around?
  15. somewhere near or about; nearby: I'll be around if you need me.
  16. to a specific place: He came around to see me.
  1. about; on all sides; encircling; encompassing: a halo around his head.
  2. so as to encircle, surround, or envelop: to tie paper around a package.
  3. on the edge, border, or outer part of: a skirt with fringe around the bottom.
  4. from place to place in; about: to get around town.
  5. in all or various directions from: to look around one.
  6. in the vicinity of: the country around Boston.
  7. approximately; about: It's around five o'clock.
  8. here and there in: There are many cafés around the city.
  9. somewhere in or near: to stay around the house.
  10. to all or various parts of: to wander around the country.
  11. so as to make a circuit about or partial circuit to the other side of: to go around the lake; to sail around a cape.
  12. reached by making a turn or partial circuit about: the church around the corner.
  13. so as to revolve or rotate about a center or axis: the earth's motion around its axis.
  14. personally close to: Only the few advisers around the party leader understood his real motives.
  15. so as to get by a difficulty: They got around the lack of chairs by sitting on the floor.
  16. so as to have a foundation in: The novel is built around a little-known historical event.
  1. been around, having had much worldly experience: He's been around and isn't likely to be taken in.

Origin of around

1250–1300; Middle English around(e). See a-1, round1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for around

Contemporary Examples of around

Historical Examples of around

  • "Thought it might be some of you folks when I saw the car," said Higbee, shaking hands all around.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • He led her, unresisting, around to the couch at the other side of the table.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • There was good feed all around, but we could not, from the darkness, find any water.

  • We strive for peace and security, heartened by the changes all around us.

  • Beneath were the illustrious dead; around were the illustrious living.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

British Dictionary definitions for around


  1. situated at various points ina lot of shelves around the house
  2. from place to place indriving around Ireland
  3. somewhere in or nearto stay around the house
  4. approximately init happened around 1957, I think
  1. surrounding, encircling, or enclosinga band around her head
  2. in all directions from a point of referencehe owns the land for ten miles around
  3. in the vicinity, esp restlessly but idlyto wait around; stand around
  4. here and there; in no particular place or directiondotted around
  5. informal (of people) active and prominent in a particular area or professionsome pop stars are around for only a few years
  6. informal present in some place (the exact location being inexact)he's around here somewhere
  7. informal in circulation; availablethat type of phone has been around for some years now
  8. informal to many places, so as to have gained considerable experience, often of a worldly or social naturehe gets around; I've been around

Word Origin for around

C17 (rare earlier): from a- ² + round


In American English, around is usually used instead of round in adverbial and prepositional senses, except in a few fixed phrases such as all year round. The use of around in adverbial senses is less common in British English
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for around

c.1300, "in circumference," from phrase on round. Rare before 1600. In sense of "here and there with no fixed direction" it is 1776, American English (properly about). Of time, from 1888. To have been around "gained worldly experience" is from 1927, U.S. colloquial.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with around


In addition to the idioms beginning with around

  • around the bend
  • around the corner

also see:

  • beat about (around) the bush
  • been around
  • boss someone around
  • bring around
  • cast about (around)
  • come around
  • enough to go around
  • every time one turns around
  • fool around
  • fuck around
  • full circle (what goes around comes around)
  • get around
  • get around to
  • go around in circles
  • hang around
  • horse around
  • kick around
  • kid around
  • knock about (around)
  • know one's way around
  • mess around
  • nose about (around)
  • pal around with
  • play around
  • poke around
  • push around
  • rally around
  • roll around
  • run around in circles
  • run around like a chicken
  • run around with
  • run rings around
  • screw around
  • scrounge around
  • shop around
  • sleep around
  • stick around
  • talk around
  • tear around
  • throw one's weight around
  • turn around
  • twist around one's finger
  • up and about (around)

Also see underround.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.