Definition of round in English:

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Pronunciation: /round/


1Shaped like or approximately like a circle or cylinder: she was seated at a small, round table
More example sentences
  • I read each label on the round cylinders and the vials within.
  • Without really thinking about it, she drew a huge, round circle on the page.
  • The circle, on a hilltop setting, is nearly perfectly round, with a diameter of 33 m.
circular, ring-shaped, disk-shaped, hoop-shaped;
spherical, spheroidal, globular, globe-shaped, orb-shaped;
bulbous, rounded, rotund
technical annular, discoid
1.1Having a curved shape like part of the circumference of a circle: round arches
More example sentences
  • Her hair was combed neatly, and her nails were nicely trimmed to make perfect round shapes.
  • Byzantine architecture is distinguished by its use of the round arch, cross, circle, dome, and rich mosaic ornament.
  • This has a vaulted ceiling supported on round arches.
2Shaped like or approximately like a sphere: a round glass ball the grapes are small and round
More example sentences
  • He reached into his pocket and brought forth a small round sphere.
  • Baseball is more than round balls and base runs; it can also involve branding, design, and typography.
  • Then suddenly, he pulled the pinchers out, and in their serrated grasp was a perfectly round lead musket ball.
2.1(Of a person’s body) plump.
Example sentences
  • His round body was only slightly taller than her own.
  • Jasmine kissed him on his bruised lips and pressed as much of her round body against him as she could.
  • Lennie is a big man with great strength; his body and features are round and undefined.
plump, chubby, fat, full
2.2Having a curved surface with no sharp or jagged projections: the boulders look round and smooth
More example sentences
  • I felt my hand being pressed against a smooth, round mound.
  • A large, round, smooth rock protruded suddenly a few feet past a break in the forest.
  • Why are rocks found near rivers mostly smooth and round?
3(Of a voice) rich and mellow; not harsh.
Example sentences
  • ‘I always like champagne in the afternoon,’ he informed me in his rich round voice.
  • He speaks this language like every other American, with a deep round voice that seems to come from somewhere below his knees.
  • She spoke without any apparent accent, in a round voice filled with soft vowels and smooth consonants.
sonorous, full-bodied, full-toned, rich, deep, mellow, resonant, reverberant;
grandiloquent, magniloquent, rotund, orotund;
rare canorous
4 [attributive] (Of a number) altered for convenience of expression or calculation, for example to the nearest whole number or multiple of ten or five: the size of the fleet is given in round numbers
More example sentences
  • We could easily have taken more - but I wanted a nice, round number.
  • Can you put a round figure on the kind of government investment you're going to need to get this up and running?
  • However, for the purposes of argument, let's stick with a million as a nice round figure.
4.1(Of a number) convenient for calculation, typically through being a multiple of ten.
Example sentences
  • At the risk of boring the reader, let's go over a hypothetical example (with nice round numbers) to illustrate my point.
  • The M.Sc. candidates will be given marks for the performance in convenient multiples of 5 or 10, on a scale of 100.
4.2Used to show that a figure has been completely and exactly reached: a round dozen
More example sentences
  • The network of offices reached a round dozen this year.
  • His output under his own name reached a round 200 novels.
  • Strauss, who made a round 50 on Tuesday, was the only England batsman to pass 45 runs in the match.
complete, entire, whole, full
4.3 archaic (Of a sum of money) considerable: his business is worth a round sum to me
More example sentences
  • As to the money raised by local subscription, no definite apportionment has yet been made but we understand that Woodhouse will receive a good round sum.
5 archaic (Of a person or their manner of speaking) not omitting or disguising anything; frank and truthful: she berated him in good round terms
candid, frank, direct, honest, truthful, straightforward, plain, blunt, forthright, bald, explicit, unequivocal, unmistakable, categorical


1A circular piece of a particular substance: cut the pastry into rounds
More example sentences
  • We rolled the huge rounds into the old wood shed.
  • Working carefully, I slid a thin knife under the wax rounds, popping them off in one piece.
  • I smiled and put a dozen hot kugel tarts, dense rounds of potato and salt and oil, to drain on a paper towel near her.
ball, sphere, globe, orb, circle, disk, ring, hoop
technical annulus
1.1A thick disk of beef cut from the haunch as a joint.
Example sentences
  • Nutrient composition data are available for four lean cuts of bison: rib-eye, clod, top round and top sirloin.
  • Take a round of fresh beef (or the half of one if it is very large) and remove the bone.
  • I would appreciate some information on how to cook an inside round of beef using a slow cook method.
2An act of visiting each of a number of people or places: she did the rounds of her family to say goodbye he made the rounds of the city’s churches
More example sentences
  • When he was 20, Lewis made the rounds of Nashville's country career-makers.
  • Sara made the rounds of a few of the commands around the perimeter of the valley, attending to last-minute details.
  • I made the rounds of the cabin to see if any of the guys wanted to come with me and Dutchie.
2.1A tour of inspection, typically repeated regularly, in which the safety or well-being of those visited is checked: the doctor is just making his rounds in the wards
More example sentences
  • She glanced up and down the hallway, checking for night nurses making their rounds.
  • For as long as I could remember Doc Harris had been making his rounds in his trap with Lady, the grey mare.
  • The other flight attendants continued making their rounds.
circuit, beat, route, tour
3One of a sequence of sessions or groups of related actions or events, typically such that development or progress can be seen between one group and another: the two sides held three rounds of talks
More example sentences
  • Investment in education in general, and in particular school education would play a vital role in the next round of development.
  • Even more to the point, it makes you wonder how on earth it got past the usual film-industry round of development meetings and off the ground.
  • Mandela believed agreement would be reached in the next, final round of negotiations in July.
3.1A division of a contest such as a boxing or wrestling match.
Example sentences
  • Haley and I sat on the swings, while Chad and Dominic continued their tiebreaker round of wrestling.
  • He looked tattered and damp, as if he'd just done ten rounds of mud wrestling.
  • Worse than that is when Taylor prevents the timekeeper from ending the round during the big fight.
3.2One of a succession of stages in a sporting contest or other competition, in each of which more candidates are eliminated: the playoffs in the second round
More example sentences
  • It had been rather emotional for those groups that were eliminated in the second round.
  • The competition consists of three rounds: preliminary, semi-final and final.
  • The first time he entered, he was eliminated after the first round.
stage, level;
heat, game, bout, contest;
3.3An act of playing all the holes in a golf course once: Eileen enjoys the occasional round of golf
More example sentences
  • Once the round of golf is over, the brothers can relax in the hotel's leisure complex.
  • They just showed up once a quarter for a round of golf and a casual perusal of the books.
  • Although he was about to turn 90, he looked trim and fit and boasted he had just returned from a robust round of golf at a nearby course.
4A regularly recurring sequence of activities or functions: their lives were a daily round of housework and laundry
More example sentences
  • Because my memory is so terrible, sometimes I want to write about a certain part of the daily round so I won't forget about it.
  • She is doing a little royal work and doing it well, but will not take on a full-time round of royal engagements.
  • For expats, life's an endless round of parties.
succession, sequence, series, cycle
4.1 Music A song for three or more unaccompanied voices or parts, each singing the same theme but starting one after another, at the same pitch or in octaves; a simple canon.
Example sentences
  • We sang songs in rounds, back and forth with our own echoes.
  • Its ancestry is in the madrigal, the round, the glee (which fostered numerous glee clubs), and the partsong.
  • Their older brothers and sisters performed the Jewish song Shalom Chaverim, sung as a round.
4.2A set of drinks bought for all the members of a group, typically as part of a sequence in which each member in turn buys such a set: it’s my round
More example sentences
  • We order a round of drinks and then I head out to the dance floor.
  • Andrew was at the bar, ordering a round of drinks for them all.
  • Whenever someone has money, they invite their friends to go out to a neighborhood bar for a round of drinks.
5A measured quantity or number of something, in particular.
5.1The amount of ammunition needed to fire one shot.
Example sentences
  • The directional pad is used for zooming in on targets, and the trigger buttons fire rounds of ammunition.
  • The 8th Air Force had fired 99 million rounds of ammunition during these flights and it is thought that 20,000 German planes were destroyed.
  • In 1885, Maxim developed a single-barrel weapon that could fire 500 rounds of ammunition a minute.
bullet, cartridge, shell, shot
5.2 Archery A fixed number of arrows shot from a fixed distance.
Example sentences
  • She did a whole round of arrows, perfect shots every single time - straight to the bull's eye.


chiefly British
variant of around.


chiefly British
variant of around.


[with object]
1Pass and go around (something) so as to move on in a changed direction: the ship rounded the cape and sailed north
More example sentences
  • By the end of the third day, the ship had rounded the cape.
  • Jack and Angela rounded the corner three blocks away from their houses.
  • She moved through an office door and rounded the corner to the employee lounge.
go around, travel around, skirt, circumnavigate, orbit
2Alter (a number) to one less exact but more convenient for calculations: we’ll round the weight up to the nearest pound the committee rounded down the figure let’s just round it off to an even ten dollars
More example sentences
  • Under the act, prices for such items as television licences and permits have to be rounded down to the nearest convenient amount below the exact euro equivalent.
  • This bracket will be rounded down to the nearest $50 for joint returns and head of household returns.
  • Income and gains should be rounded down to the nearest pound, while tax credits and deductions should be rounded up to the nearest pound.
3Give a round shape to: a lathe that rounded chair legs
More example sentences
  • To deepen the stretch, slowly extend arms and round spine forward, letting the weight of the torso fall forward.
3.1 [no object] Become circular in shape: her eyes rounded in dismay
More example sentences
  • I muttered under my breath, my almond shaped eyes rounding to replicate saucers.
  • ‘What do you mean?’ she asked, her blue eyes, rounding in question.
3.2 Phonetics Pronounce (a vowel) with the lips narrowed and protruded.
Example sentences
  • Most Australians can achieve this accent by ‘rounding the vowels’ and concentrating on speaking ‘properly’.
  • She speaks very fast, with a Spanish accent that rounds her vowels.
  • If he rounds his vowels a bit more his accent will drop.


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



in the round

1(Of sculpture) standing free with all sides shown, rather than carved in relief against a ground.
Example sentences
  • Whether in reliefs or figures carved in the round, he achieved dramatic expression of emotion through the intense faces, emphatic gestures, and cascading draperies of his figures.
  • The turn from relief to sculpture in the round led to radical changes in his work.
  • Standing just 36 cm high, and carved in the round, the model for the Queen Charlotte's figurehead is a tour de force of the woodcarver's art, although its maker's name is as yet unknown.
1.1Treated fully and thoroughly; with all aspects shown or considered: to understand social phenomena one must see them in the round
More example sentences
  • The process must be viewed in the round, and not on a pupil by pupil basis, and chambers may well see an advantage in developing close relationships with pupils who plan to practise as employed barristers or to practise overseas.
  • The question of exceptional circumstances must therefore be considered in the round.
  • The adjudicator must look at all of the material in the round and see whether he is persuaded of the claim.
2(Of a theatrical performance) with the audience placed on at least three sides of the stage.
Example sentences
  • Theatre, in the round, is not my favourite venue for an evening's entertainment but, after last night, I begin to realise how effective it can be when it is under control of a man who knows how to handle it to its maximum advantage
  • The director presented one of the few instances in my life where theatre in the round has succeeded.
  • The play was done in the company's Bingham Theatre, which is in the round, the hardest kind of space for a stage director to work in.

make (or go) the rounds

(Of a story or joke) be passed on from person to person.
Example sentences
  • A story went the rounds of one agent who went to a café and asked for a café noir - this was a mistake, because a café noir was the only kind available, milk being rationed, and his ‘cover’ was blown.
  • I'd like to know because it was certainly a story that went the rounds among schoolboys in my day.
  • There was a story going the rounds about one of the European shift bosses who was invited to the Lewises for lunch, to sample one of Jane's home made Cornish pasties.

round about

1On all sides or in all directions; surrounding someone or something: everything round about was covered with snow
More example sentences
  • Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the side of thine house; thy children like olive plants round about thy table.
  • He was no hearty admirer of the Cambridge landscape - in the poem he avoids it with some ingenuity and confines himself to the names of the villages round about.
  • Pray, Mrs. Tremlett, do you know any thing about the factory people that work in all these great ugly buildings round about Ashleigh?
2At a point or time approximately equal to: they arrived round about nine
More example sentences
  • Some of the reviewers when the book appeared seemed to find evidence for a sudden conversion round about 1934, but his disgust for earthly things is displayed over and over again in his early novels.
  • On their third dive, round about 3pm, they headed off together and were last spotted swimming calmly 12m down.
  • He has often been supposed to be the ‘Fair Youth’ of Shakespeare's Sonnets, most of which may well have been written round about 1593-6, though they may have been revised and reordered around 1602.
2.1Approximately: we raised round about half a million dollars round about 10,000 homes were affected
More example sentences
  • Bringing in round about $2m annually, tourism has contributed the most to the economy's prosperity.
  • For the same car, but with circa 40k on the clock, you'd be looking at round about 24k from a dealer, but I'd be inclined to try to push that down a bit.
  • The limiting factor is clearly the interface but at round about 1GB per minute, the transfer speed is reasonable.

Phrasal verbs


round something off

Make the edges or corners of something smooth: round off the spars with a soft plastic fitting
More example sentences
  • The sharp edges, corners and points have been rounded off and smoothed away.
  • The square edges will be rounded off to prevent further damage to the wall.
  • I tested the tip of one, but evidently they were purely aesthetic, the tips and edges were rounded off so that they couldn't possibly harm anyone.
1.1Complete something in a satisfying or suitable way: I rounded off my visit to Ganu by purchasing a number of exquisite masks
More example sentences
  • After a highly enjoyable day sightseeing, we decided to round things off with a pub meal before going home.
  • The first group of children to complete the course before Christmas rounded it off with a small party and seven new children started on January 12.
  • With a combination of acrylic, watercolour and photographic work, his diverse collection is rounded off by a self-made video, adding an eerie auditory aspect to the exhibit.
complete, finish off, crown, cap, top;
conclude, close, end

round on

Make a sudden verbal attack on or unexpected retort to: she rounded on me angrily
More example sentences
  • ‘You're not even supposed to be driving,’ she snapped, rounding on him.
  • Mr. Archer offered to explain, but Anthony rounded on him and declared in a sudden outburst that he would say it himself.
  • The guilty will defend by rounding on the accuser, and for that reason I expect to be chastised for the audacity to doubt their value, although some do good work.

round something out

Make something more complete: round out the meal with fruit and salad
More example sentences
  • The supplements are rounded out by a trailer and TV spot.
  • The tartar sauce had a zippy, homemade taste to it, and both our plates were rounded out well with green salads and ample servings of perfectly nice fries.
  • The meatless concoctions were rounded out by lentil salad and yellow split peas cooked with turmeric, ginger and onions.

round someone/something up

Drive or collect a number of people or animals together for a particular purpose: in the afternoon the cows are rounded up for milking
More example sentences
  • I know monkeys and animals are rounded up or bred away from their natural habitats and countries for experiments in the pursuit of profit.
  • The animals will be rounded up and sold at auction.
  • Sheep are wandering all over the moors in search of the best grazing, making it almost impossible for shepherds to round them up and encouraging more farmers to take advantage of higher lamb prices and sell up, meaning even fewer sheep.
4.1Arrest a number of people.
Example sentences
  • That slaying remains such a tinderbox issue that the police and prosecutors only reluctantly confirmed for the first time today that some 12 suspects had been rounded up this month and more arrests were pending.
  • Eventually she and her other two brothers were rounded up by the police for interrogation by the usual methods, but this is only hinted at, not described.
  • There were dramatic pictures that came out of there, of the police rounding these people up.



Pronunciation: /ˈroundiSH/
Example sentences
  • Attached to the pumps, multiple tubes on the floor next to the wall led into the space, where they intermittently veered off to form seven roundish tangles.
  • His face was roundish, his eyes some unidentifiable dark color while his hair was golden brown, cut short with highlights of red here and there.
  • She was short and roundish, with mocha colored skin.


Pronunciation: /ˈroun(d)nəs/
Example sentences
  • Is the face's roundness, softness and unthreatening air of friendliness a factor?
  • Painting, for him should imitate the roundness of sculptured forms, and architecture, too, must partake of the organic qualities of the human figure.
  • When the hairline is receding, a style that is long and flowing in the back, like Stevie wears, will balance the overall roundness of his facial shape.


Middle English: from the Old French stem round-, from a variant of Latin rotundus 'rotund'.

Words that rhyme with round

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

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: round

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