Definition of around in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈraʊnd/


1Located or situated on every side: the mountains towering all around
More example sentences
  • Victoria Mill chimney in Skipton is a landmark easily visible for miles around.
  • It would affect residents the whole length of its route and would be visible for miles around.
  • First, Debenhams have the last say in which shops are situated around them.
on every side, on all sides, in all directions, throughout, all over, all over the place, everywhere, about, here and there
2So as to face in the opposite direction: Guy seized her by the shoulders and turned her around
More example sentences
  • I turned around in the opposite direction and started down the hall to my Band class.
  • The manager reaches across the desk, picks up the sheet and swivels around in his chair to face him.
  • Lacey swivelled around on her computer chair and grabbed a pillow from the bed beside her.
in the opposite direction, in the reverse direction, to face the other way, backwards, to the rear
3In or to many places throughout a locality: word got around that he was on the verge of retirement
More example sentences
  • Today's Question: Which Celebrity would you most like to drive around for an hour with?
  • So hanging out was good, we talked about something else and drove around and had all in all a nice time.
  • I have now been driving this Kia around for about five days and have discovered that it goes like the clappers.
4Aimlessly or unsystematically; here and there: one of them was glancing nervously around
More example sentences
  • Being able to wander around aimlessly is the best way to see things that you'd normally never see, new bands.
  • I wandered aimlessly around thinking about the play and failing to find a wireless hotspot.
  • Sailors in bleached white uniforms wander around trying to convince themselves they are having fun.
5Present, living, in the vicinity, or in active use: there was no one around maize has been around for a long time
More example sentences
  • There are old people's flats around and they feel threatened with the rowdy behavior of these kids.
  • They know they are not going to be around when Livingstone takes over the tube.
  • It's been tough for Dav, tough for the board and tough for everyone around.
nearby, near, about, close by, close, at hand, close at hand, in the vicinity, in the neighbourhood, on the doorstep, (just) round the corner, within (easy) reach, at close range, hard by;
accessible, handy, convenient
6(Used with a number or quantity) approximately: software costs would be around £1,500 I returned to my hotel around 3 a.m.
More example sentences
  • You can be in your hotel room within around five hours of leaving Bolton, if you fly.
  • The journey is around 200 miles, and they will arrive in a couple of days in his hired carriage.
  • It was a long drive to our next stop - around 160 miles to the east on the coast at Torrent.
approximately, about, round about, roughly, in the region of, something like, in the area of, in the neighbourhood of, of the order of, or so, or thereabouts, there or thereabouts, more or less, give or take a few, plus or minus a few;
nearly, close to, as near as dammit, not far off, approaching;
British  getting on for;
South African  plus-minus;
Latin circa
North American informal in the ballpark of


1On every side of: the palazzo is built around a courtyard the hills around the city
More example sentences
  • The air around the hill of Knocknashee is responding to the sound of music these days and nights.
  • We also have just had speed humps installed around Beulah Hill crossroads.
  • The town nestles in a bay which looks over to the hills around Loch Striven, adding a misty splendour to the scene.
on every side of, on all sides of, about, circling, encircling, surrounding, encompassing, framing
1.1(Of something abstract) having (the thing mentioned) as a focal point: our entire culture is built around those loyalties
More example sentences
  • A movie like this tends to attract an awful lot of abstract nonsense going on around it.
  • I would say try and understand the culture around a crime and you are going to better at investigating it.
  • At the height of Britpop, there was something of a consensus culture around rock.
2In or to many places throughout (a community or locality): cycling around the village a number of large depots around the country
More example sentences
  • The school places a lot of emphasis on music and the choir is in great demand to perform for community groups around the town.
  • I drove around most of the Midlands and east of England in this car and it acquitted itself admirably.
  • His image is everywhere around this city and he's even had a fast ferry named after him.
all over, about, here and there in, everywhere in, in/to all parts of
3Following an approximately circular route: he walked around the airfield it can drill around corners
More example sentences
  • Following the route around the museum will certainly keep you fit if nothing else.
  • The circular walk around Lake Burwains is one of the best places in Lancashire to watch birds in winter.
  • The walk follows a two-mile route around the village of Staveley on New Year's Day.
4So as to encircle or embrace (someone or something): he put his arm around her
More example sentences
  • With that, he placed the necklace around his neck and embraced her for one last time.
  • In a quick movement, I flung my arm around his neck and placed the gun to his side.
  • If it wasn't for a circle of gold around his neck, he would have appeared desolate.


On the difference in use between round and around, see round (usage).


have been around

informal Have a lot of varied experience and understanding of the world: look, I’ve been around, I know what happens with kids like you
More example sentences
  • They have lots of players with Premiership experience, and a coach who has been around.
  • The idea is not new, however, having been around for many years.
  • Annual festivals in cities like Edmonton, Ottawa and Halifax have been around for years.


Middle English: from a-2 'in, on' + round.

Words that rhyme with around

abound, aground, astound, bound, compound, confound, dumbfound, expound, found, ground, hound, impound, interwound, mound, pound, profound, propound, redound, round, sound, stoneground, surround, theatre-in-the-round (US theater-in-the-round), underground, wound

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: around

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