- 1On the subject of; concerning: I was thinking about you a book about ancient Greece it’s all about having funMore example sentences
- This is a subject of modern concern about which classical Buddhist sources have little to say.
- That letter set out at some length Mr Carroll's concerns about a number of subjects.
- Why write a scientific book about a subject best left to poets and songwriters?
- 1.1So as to affect: there’s nothing we can do about itMore example sentences
- The argument now is about how badly we will be affected and whether it is too late to do anything about it.
- But what caused the cancer in the first place, and what can we do about it?
- We now have a better understanding as to why the firm is not accelerating in a growing marketplace, and what it is doing about it.
- 2chiefly British Used to indicate movement within a particular area: she looked about the roomMore example sentences
- He paused, looked about himself for a moment, and sighed.
- I paused, gazing about the room, watching carefully for any sign of movement.
- While some men can wander about a hardware store for an hour, I can kill 60 minutes or more in a kitchen supply place.
- 3chiefly British Used to express location in a particular place: rugs were strewn about the hall he produced a knife from somewhere about his person
- 3.1Used to describe a quality apparent in a person: there was a look about her that said everythingMore example sentences
- Seen from the air in the lemony light of dawn, the place has an almost mystical quality about it.
- There was a film noir quality about that piece of managerial advice, and it fitted the times.
- The French veteran has a grace about his movement which seems to mesmerise opponents.
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- 1chiefly British Used to indicate movement within an area: men were floundering about finding my way aboutMore example sentences
- They emptied the pool of its water by splashing about and then threw toys and sand into it.
- What does swimming about and spontaneously singing bits of the Batman theme song mean?
- You go in feet first - there's enough room to move about and then come out head first.
- 2chiefly British Used to express location in a particular place: there was a lot of flu aboutMore example sentences
- The site was overgrown and there was refuse strewn about the area.
- Houdini relied on great skill, low cunning, and keeping tiny metal picklocks concealed about his person.
- I have friends scattered about Australia.
- 3(Used with a number or quantity) approximately: reduced by about 5 per cent he’s about 35More example sentences
approximately, roughly, around, round about, in the neighbourhood/region of, in the area of, of the order of, something like; or so, or thereabouts, there or thereabouts, more or less, give or take a few, not far off; British getting on for; Latin circa• informal as near as dammitNorth American • informal in the ballpark of
- A lot of us got out and waited for the emergency services, who arrived within about ten minutes.
- Arab traders took Islam to the area in about the twelfth century, possibly even earlier.
- I read the graphic and then saw the film all within about a week of each other.
be about to do something
- Intend to do something, or be close to doing something, very soon: the ceremony was about to beginMore example sentences
- They may be used to control symptoms in women who are close to the menopause for whom symptoms may soon be about to improve anyway.
- The Government is about to close the door and stop all new referrals from receiving these drugs.
- As the elevator doors were about to close, someone pushed the open button outside.
be not about to do something
- Be unwilling to do something: he is not about to step down after so longMore example sentences
- The major telecoms companies and the raft of Internet companies suddenly found themselves faced with massive balance sheet deficits and fantasy profits that were not about to materialise.
- They seemed content to sit back and invite Arsenal to come on to them, and the league leaders were not about to spurn the invitation.
- People backed the president, because they wanted to back his patriotic effort, and they were not about to throw a wartime president out of office during a war.
be on about
- see on.
know what one is about
- • informal Be sensible, self-possessed, and aware of how to deal with difficult situations: don’t go to the Congo without knowing what you’re aboutMore example sentences
- That's the key, you need to know what you are about.
- In time the truth will emerge but to win big contracts you have to know what you are about.
- But, now you are here, may I ask if you know what you are about?
Old English onbūtan, from on 'in, on' + būtan 'outside of' (see but2).