in the round,
    1. (of a theater) having a stage completely surrounded by seats for the audience.
    2. in the style of theater-in-the-round: The play should be done in the round.
    3. in complete detail; from all aspects: a character as seen in the round.
    4. (of sculpture) not attached to a supporting background; freestanding.
    make the rounds,
    1. to go from one place to another, as in making deliveries, paying social visits, or seeking employment.
    2. Also go the be reported or told; circulate: another rumor making the rounds.

Origin of round

1250–1300; (adj.) Middle English rond, round < Old French, stem of ront, earlier reont < Latin rotundus round, circular (see rotund); (noun) Middle English, partly derivative of the adj., partly < Old French rond, ronde (derivative of ront); (v.) Middle English, derivative of the adj.; (adv. and preposition) Middle English, apparently aphetic variant of around
Related formsround·ness, noun

Synonyms for round

Antonyms for round Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for roundness

Contemporary Examples of roundness

Historical Examples of roundness

  • Any one who peruses Domesday Book paying attention to the valets will be struck in the first place by their roundness.

    Domesday Book and Beyond

    Frederic William Maitland

  • Her cheeks had not yet regained their roundness or their bright colour.

  • Its freshness and roundness had departed from it; it looked positively thin and haggard.


    B. L. (Benjamin Leopold) Farjeon

  • In other words, there is practically no roundness of the body.

    Warren Commission (4 of 26): Hearings Vol. IV (of 15)

    The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy

  • “Come in, folks,” Creed called, speaking out with a roundness and decision that it did her heart good to hear.

British Dictionary definitions for roundness



having a flat circular shape, as a disc or hoop
having the shape of a sphere or ball
curved; not angular
involving or using circular motion
(prenominal) complete; entirea round dozen
  1. forming or expressed by an integer or whole number, with no fraction
  2. expressed to the nearest ten, hundred, or thousandin round figures
(of a sum of money) considerable; ample
fully depicted or developed, as a character in a book
full and plumpround cheeks
(of sound) full and sonorous
(of pace) brisk; lively
(prenominal) (of speech) candid; straightforward; unmodifieda round assertion
(of a vowel) pronounced with rounded lips


a round shape or object
in the round
  1. in full detail
  2. theatrewith the audience all round the stage
a session, as of a negotiationa round of talks
a series, cycle, or sequencea giddy round of parties
the daily round the usual activities of one's day
a stage of a competitionhe was eliminated in the first round
(often plural) a series of calls, esp in a set ordera doctor's rounds; a milkman's round
a playing of all the holes on a golf course
a single turn of play by each player, as in a card game
one of a number of periods constituting a boxing, wrestling, or other match, each usually lasting three minutes
archery a specified number of arrows shot from a specified distance
a single discharge by a number of guns or a single gun
a bullet, blank cartridge, or other charge of ammunition
a number of drinks bought at one time for a group of people
a single slice of bread or toast or two slices making a single serving of sandwiches
a general outburst of applause, cheering, etc
movement in a circle or around an axis
music a part song in which the voices follow each other at equal intervals at the same pitch
a sequence of bells rung in order of treble to tenorCompare change (def. 29)
a dance in which the dancers move in a circle
a cut of beef from the thigh between the rump and the shank
go the rounds or make the rounds
  1. to go from place to place, as in making deliveries or social calls
  2. (of information, rumour, etc) to be passed around, so as to be generally known


surrounding, encircling, or enclosinga band round her head
on all or most sides ofto look round one
on or outside the circumference or perimeter ofthe stands round the racecourse
situated at various points ina lot of shelves round the house
from place to place indriving round Ireland
somewhere in or nearto stay round the house
making a circuit or partial circuit aboutthe ring road round the town
reached by making a partial circuit about somethingthe shop round the corner
revolving round a centre or axisthe earth's motion round its axis
so as to have a basis inthe story is built round a good plot


on all or most sidesthe garden is fenced all round; the crowd gathered round
on or outside the circumference or perimeterthe racing track is two miles round
in all directions from a point of referencehe owns the land for ten miles round
to all members of a grouppass the food round
in rotation or revolutionthe wheels turn round
by a circuitous routethe road to the farm goes round by the pond
to a specific placeshe came round to see me
all year round throughout the year; in every month


to make or become round
(tr) to encircle; surround
to move or cause to move with circular motionto round a bend
  1. to pronounce (a speech sound) with rounded lips
  2. to purse (the lips)
Derived Formsroundness, noun

Word Origin for round

C13: from Old French ront, from Latin rotundus round, from rota a wheel


See around
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 roundness

late 14c., from round (adj.) + -ness.



late 13c., from Anglo-French rounde, Old French roont (12c., Modern French rond), probably originally *redond, from Vulgar Latin *retundus (cf. Provençal redon, Spanish redondo, Old Italian ritondo), from Latin rotundus "like a wheel, circular, round," related to rota "wheel" (see rotary).

As an adverb from c.1300; as a preposition from c.1600. In many uses it is a shortened form of around. The French word is the source of Middle Dutch ront (Dutch rond), Middle High German runt (German rund) and similar Germanic words.

Of numbers from mid-14c., from earlier sense "full, complete, brought to completion" (mid-14c., notion of symmetry extended to that of completeness). First record of round trip is from 1844, originally of railways. Round heels attested from 1926, in reference to incompetent boxers, 1927 in reference to loose women, in either case implying an inability to avoid ending up flat on one's back.



early 14c., "a spherical body," from round (adj.) and Old French roond. Cf. Dutch rond, Danish and Swedish rund, German runde, all nouns from adjectives. Meaning "large round piece of beef" is recorded from 1650s. Theatrical sense (in phrase in the round) is recorded from 1944. Sense of "circuit performed by a sentinel" is from 1590s; that of "recurring course of time" is from 1710. Meaning "song sung by two or more, beginning at different times" is from 1520s. Golfing sense attested from 1775. Meaning "quantity of liquor served to a company at one time" is from 1630s; that of "single bout in a fight or boxing match" is from 1812; "single discharge of a firearm" is from 1725. Sense of "recurring session of meetings or negotiations" is from 1964.



late 14c., "to make round," from round (adj.). Sense of "make a circuit round" is from 1590s. Sense of "bring to completeness" is from c.1600; meaning "to approximate (a number)" is from 1934. Meaning "turn round and face, turn on and assault" is from 1882. Round out "fill up" is from 1856. Related: Rounded; rounding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for roundness


A song that can be begun at different times by different singers, but with harmonious singing (see harmony) as the result. “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” is a round.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with roundness


In addition to the idioms beginning with round

  • round and round
  • round figures
  • round off
  • round on
  • round out
  • round peg in a square hole
  • round robin
  • round the bend
  • round trip
  • round up

also see:

  • all year round
  • bring around (round)
  • come around (round)
  • get around (round)
  • in round numbers
  • in the round
  • make the rounds
  • other way round
  • pull round
  • rally around

Also see underaround.

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