Definition of around in English:

around

adverb

  • 1Located or situated on every side.

    ‘the mountains towering all around’
    • ‘The night sky was lit up for miles around by the flame from the new ‘big one’ at the iron works.’
    • ‘Fireworks are not private nor personal as they disturb and frighten people and animals for miles around.’
    • ‘Even so, what marks the dive is the feeling that every fish for miles around has come here to enjoy the current.’
    • ‘We expect every lunatic terrorist from miles around to descend on us like bees to honey’
    • ‘They where commenting on how much more the area around had become very shabby.’
    • ‘Some of the bigger bangs and flashes of light could be seen and heard for miles around.’
    • ‘Everywhere around me, the editorial staff were putting the magazine to bed.’
    • ‘It could be seen for miles around and adds a new phrase to the English language.’
    • ‘People came from miles around to go to the Market Hall because of the atmosphere and the stalls.’
    • ‘Smoke from the fire could be seen billowing into the sky for miles around.’
    • ‘Victoria Mill chimney in Skipton is a landmark easily visible for miles around.’
    • ‘There follows page after page of pencil sketches showing how they think it will look from miles around.’
    • ‘It would affect residents the whole length of its route and would be visible for miles around.’
    • ‘Every motorbike for miles around is heading for the lake at the town centre.’
    • ‘The glowing orangish-red tip seems to be the only source of light for miles around.’
    • ‘You are likely to be the only one for miles around with such a unique Christmas decoration.’
    • ‘First, Debenhams have the last say in which shops are situated around them.’
    • ‘Juliet yelled as she ran up to her friend who was still beating up the boy with the crowd around.’
    • ‘The bridge will have in-built lighting which should enable the bridge to be seen from miles around.’
    • ‘Odd that the local pub doesn't get a mention, given that it's the only place you can buy food for miles around.’
    • ‘For a single week of the summer, there will hardly be a coach or limousine available for miles around.’
    • ‘This place really is in the middle of nowhere; there is no sign of life for miles around.’
    on every side, on all sides, in all directions, throughout, all over, all over the place, everywhere, about, here and there
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  • 2So as to face in the opposite direction.

    ‘Guy seized her by the shoulders and turned her around’
    • ‘The court heard that the ambulance was spun around by the force of the collision, of which Kelly had no memory.’
    • ‘Then, I spoke up in reply to his comment, and he swivelled around and gave me a hell of a strange look.’
    • ‘The behemoth of Lothian Road is visibly swinging around to meet the strictures of the stock market.’
    • ‘When he talks, he swings around on his chair so he is effectively facing me.’
    • ‘Gently he turned him around to meet his eyes and all movement from the other boy ceased immediately.’
    • ‘The manager reaches across the desk, picks up the sheet and swivels around in his chair to face him.’
    • ‘When they got to the door, he turned them around, and the crowd surged another cheer towards them.’
    • ‘I turned around in the opposite direction and started down the hall to my Band class.’
    • ‘I walked a few steps further and then turned around and peered directly into the store.’
    • ‘She turned around and pointed in the direction of what looked like a little office.’
    • ‘Just after I'd been given the cold shoulder by his support, I turned around and there he was.’
    • ‘Swivelling it around, Graeme let Jon look at the screen as the lines began to cycle out.’
    • ‘I turned around to meet with the gaze of the gunmen that were firing at me a minute ago.’
    • ‘She was sitting on the chair at her desk which she had turned around to face the TV to the left of her bed.’
    • ‘I didn't mean to say it loudly, but everyone snickered and turned around to look at me.’
    • ‘Once he had finished he turned around and started to head in my direction but stopped in his tracks.’
    • ‘Lacey swivelled around on her computer chair and grabbed a pillow from the bed beside her.’
    • ‘She laughed to herself as she stepped directly behind Liam and twisted his chair around.’
    • ‘Inside the pub he felt someone grab him from behind and swivelled around quickly.’
    • ‘Stating that any observation that works in one direction is also true when turned around.’
    • ‘She did so, turning around to meet his gaze evenly even though Cameron was a head taller.’
    • ‘He didn't turn his chair around and instead stayed facing the front of the room.’
    in the opposite direction, in the reverse direction, to face the other way, backwards, to the rear
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  • 3In or to many places throughout a locality.

    ‘word got around that he was on the verge of retirement’
    • ‘Today, he drives around in a vivid red Ferrari with a personalised numberplate.’
    • ‘A couple of seasons later he owned a black Honda City, the car that he drives around in.’
    • ‘Lucas was adamant about having a nice, reliable car for us to drive the baby around in.’
    • ‘He had been driving around and around after school ended, looking for something to do.’
    • ‘Once upon a time you could drive around with a radar detector so you knew where the radar traps were.’
    • ‘I have now been driving this Kia around for about five days and have discovered that it goes like the clappers.’
    • ‘He had been driving around slowly, shouting abuse and making obscene gestures at police officers.’
    • ‘In fact, word went around among the five- and six-year-olds that she was a witch.’
    • ‘Today's Question: Which Celebrity would you most like to drive around for an hour with?’
    • ‘Bored, he spends all day driving around in his hire car - a white Fiat Uno, as it happens.’
    • ‘Now you can zap all of your huge CD collection on to one small portable hard drive and carry it around with you.’
    • ‘We drove around and eventually found a reasonable hotel on the outskirts of the town.’
    • ‘There was a rumor going around at the meet 'n' greet and then among people going in to the concert that you were there.’
    • ‘Do they park up and pay up, or do they drive around looking for a free space in another street?’
    • ‘So hanging out was good, we talked about something else and drove around and had all in all a nice time.’
    • ‘If driving around looking for gifts is more pain than pleasure, why not let the Net do the shopping for you?’
    • ‘I think that he is moving around meeting as many of these groups as possible.’
    • ‘Top agents will collect you on arrival at the airport and drive you around to view selected properties.’
    • ‘After I got off the phone with him, I went out to my car and drove around for awhile.’
    • ‘They will be driving around and spraying with Malathion in an effort to kill the enemy out.’
  • 4Aimlessly or unsystematically; here and there.

    ‘one of them was glancing nervously around’
    • ‘It just seemed like everyone was just sitting around waiting for the world to end.’
    • ‘After that, headed off to the Marais, where she left me to wander around on my own.’
    • ‘He'd driven the van around aimlessly until it had run out of fuel and spluttered and died.’
    • ‘One time we were at a party and everyone was sitting around talking about sex and relationships.’
    • ‘Everyone was standing around applauding because they thought it was such a work of genius.’
    • ‘After watching the end of the parade, and a fancy dress contest we wandered around.’
    • ‘I wandered aimlessly around thinking about the play and failing to find a wireless hotspot.’
    • ‘I feel slightly lost, not depressed or anything just wandering around with little to do.’
    • ‘And if it does, you can't expect everyone to stand around and accept you as you are.’
    • ‘LA isn't really the kind of place that you just go wandering around in on foot.’
    • ‘Still, we hooked up with my sister and spent a very enjoyable day wandering around, so that was nice.’
    • ‘It was either that or wander around outside so it was safer to be inside.’
    • ‘When it becomes crowded they carefully root around in loose jacket pockets or open handbags.’
    • ‘Being able to wander around aimlessly is the best way to see things that you'd normally never see, new bands.’
    • ‘Why should we have yet more people, wandering around stoned, causing mayhem on our streets?’
    • ‘After the first rehearsal, we sat around planning our careers in the music business.’
    • ‘I was wandering around in a daze, in a white frock, and people were saying nice things.’
    • ‘I wandered around until daylight and caught some sleep in the sunshine whenever I could.’
    • ‘I'm wandering around in a restless state, reading a page from one book and moving on to another.’
    • ‘Sailors in bleached white uniforms wander around trying to convince themselves they are having fun.’
    from place to place, around, about, to and fro, hither and thither, back and forth, in all directions, from pillar to post
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  • 5Present, living, in the vicinity, or in active use.

    ‘there was no one around’
    ‘maize has been around for a long time’
    • ‘The only regret she mentions is that her father is not around to receive a signed copy.’
    • ‘We make sure there are enough competitions around and fights organised at the club level to keep them busy too.’
    • ‘I agree with you that while there are a plethora of organisations around, unity would be better.’
    • ‘This did not mean, however, that his ideas were accepted by everyone around.’
    • ‘And there were more ballet companies around at that time than is often remembered.’
    • ‘It's been tough for Dav, tough for the board and tough for everyone around.’
    • ‘What they have been keeping to themselves is one of the most user-friendly cycle routes around.’
    • ‘Answer: if you learn a word from a newspaper, it won't be around in another six months time.’
    • ‘He seems to still have a few friends around, if the motley crew taking up both sides of the stage are anything to go by.’
    • ‘There are old people's flats around and they feel threatened with the rowdy behavior of these kids.’
    • ‘There are lots of Weblogs already around but only the tip of the iceberg is visible.’
    • ‘By this time I was getting a bit anxious about all the crowds of people around, as I am not used to that these days.’
    • ‘The open but complex moorland of Ilkley is thought to be one of the most challenging orienteering areas around.’
    • ‘Love means sticking around through the tough times and not baling out because of a little trouble.’
    • ‘It stuck around even through Margaret Thatcher's reign because nobody dared tinker with it.’
    • ‘Since the two incidents, Petra has been kept on a lead and had a muzzle on when people are around, the court heard.’
    • ‘We need Community Support Officers around when people are feeling vulnerable at night.’
    • ‘They know they are not going to be around when Livingstone takes over the tube.’
    nearby, near, about, close by, close, at hand, close at hand, in the vicinity, in the neighbourhood, on the doorstep, round the corner, just round the corner, within reach, within easy reach, at close range, hard by
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  • 6(used with a number or quantity) approximately.

    ‘software costs would be around £1,500’
    ‘I returned to my hotel around 3 a.m’
    • ‘The journey is around 200 miles, and they will arrive in a couple of days in his hired carriage.’
    • ‘Vinny and Neil managed to meet in Iraq around three weeks ago while both were stationed in Basra.’
    • ‘It is anticipated that the whole scheme will take around five years to complete.’
    • ‘Meet up at 7 pm for a ride which will last for around one hour, organised by the club's coaches.’
    • ‘It quickly became a volatile situation with a mob of around 50 people surrounding them.’
    • ‘The Bolton group meets every Friday and a typical meeting attracts around 20 people.’
    • ‘It was a long drive to our next stop - around 160 miles to the east on the coast at Torrent.’
    • ‘After Aitken had left the field injured around the hour mark, more chances came Airdrie's way.’
    • ‘By the end of last week we had got through to around 100 people on the phone.’
    • ‘However, current research shows that bits of hair are only present in around half the sinuses in this area of skin.’
    • ‘You can be in your hotel room within around five hours of leaving Bolton, if you fly.’
    • ‘The main focal points in the park are the Iron Age hill fort, which covers around 12 acres.’
    • ‘Nita joins a group of around six other women who all meet at Mudge Seager's house in Birch Street to knit.’
    • ‘And on Sunday I will devote around seven hours to the mountain of marking and paperwork.’
    • ‘The case covers dates from around 1988 up to the summer of last year and involves six alleged victims.’
    • ‘It is believed that the victim was in a small silver car when he was surrounded by a group of around five or six black youths.’
    • ‘Despite all the snow we were able to drive at speeds of around fifty mph without any problem.’
    • ‘They are due to perform to a sell-out crowd of around 130 proud parents and friends.’
    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
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preposition

  • 1On every side of.

    ‘the palazzo is built around a courtyard’
    ‘the hills around the city’
    • ‘We also have just had speed humps installed around Beulah Hill crossroads.’
    • ‘The air around the hill of Knocknashee is responding to the sound of music these days and nights.’
    • ‘Then proceed to talk to everyone around you as if there were nothing else to do there.’
    • ‘Peter agreed he was a real handful who made life a misery for those living around him.’
    • ‘The town nestles in a bay which looks over to the hills around Loch Striven, adding a misty splendour to the scene.’
    • ‘She was lost in the swelling crowd around her, shattered into a million pieces and so cold.’
    • ‘They were the very last thing he saw before the world seemed to darken around him and spin.’
    • ‘She is watched through eyes of steel, unable to understand the presences around her.’
    • ‘It exists not just in computer, but in the information streaming through the air around us.’
    • ‘Straight for the hills, the green hills around Glasgow, apparently glad to get out of there alive.’
    • ‘Together they made their way through the sea of people as they crowded around Him.’
    • ‘Why do two people who share such a deep bond treat each other and everyone around them so badly?’
    • ‘Kamihl the Afghan refugee is as much my neighbour as those living around me.’
    • ‘Ugly looking shacks not trees or flowers now wrapped many hills in and around Seoul.’
    • ‘Crucially, there was no bleeding around the needle marks of the chest drain, some six inches away.’
    • ‘Everything around him began to spin and all he could think of was the girl in his arms.’
    • ‘There was a long oak table that ran the length of the room, and several chairs around it.’
    • ‘In the center of its pool was an elevated statue of a cupid, and around it was a circular green hedge.’
    • ‘There are huge TV screens dotted around showing the Jubilee with crowds around them.’
    • ‘What has happened to the player whose very presence intimidated those around him?’
    • ‘Daly is laughing as he speaks, but those around him take his words extremely seriously.’
    • ‘She felt them crowd around her in a circle, felt the pressure and the heat of unclothed flesh.’
    on every side of, on all sides of, about, circling, encircling, surrounding, encompassing, framing
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    1. 1.1 (of something abstract) having (the thing mentioned) as a focal point.
      ‘our entire culture is built around those loyalties’
      • ‘Today the EU seeks to organise Europeans around a consciousness of vulnerability.’
      • ‘A movie like this tends to attract an awful lot of abstract nonsense going on around it.’
      • ‘They even take it as their name, and they organize their lives around this principle.’
      • ‘He saw the united front as a way of organising around a specific set of demands.’
      • ‘It's the first time the middle east has organized or played host around these issues.’
      • ‘The EU is actually a set of complex networks, organized around specific policy domains.’
      • ‘Recently she has concentrated her efforts around fundraising for various organisations.’
      • ‘Olympic organisers wrote the track and field timetable around her bid to win five gold medals.’
      • ‘This is therefore an excellent cause to rally around and to test our political power.’
      • ‘However, the organisation around a landing in Norway had been fraught with problems.’
      • ‘The king then sought to organize a new royalist coalition around a programme of religious liberty for all.’
      • ‘Organising your intranet around a portal, for instance, doesn't make it any better.’
      • ‘At the height of Britpop, there was something of a consensus culture around rock.’
      • ‘The reason we say we need that critical mass is the issue around assimilation.’
      • ‘I was meaning to write a few key words as pointers for me to talk around, but ended up writing in complete sentences.’
      • ‘The forum should be helping people to organise around their chosen themes.’
      • ‘I would say try and understand the culture around a crime and you are going to better at investigating it.’
      • ‘The stronger PCS branches have to help the weaker branches to organise around the dispute.’
      • ‘Many, such as this site, aim to provide a community and generate debate around a common subject of interest.’
      • ‘The line then is only drawn by the culture around transvestites but I might be missing something?’
      • ‘An attempt is made here to organize the decisions around six aspects of necessity.’
  • 2In or to many places throughout (a community or locality)

    ‘cycling around the village’
    ‘a number of large depots around the country’
    • ‘Groups around Britain are organising delegations to send to the conference.’
    • ‘A scheduled tour around the county was organised prior to the elderly guest's visit.’
    • ‘The school places a lot of emphasis on music and the choir is in great demand to perform for community groups around the town.’
    • ‘His image is everywhere around this city and he's even had a fast ferry named after him.’
    • ‘They were not the only group there as there were organisations from around the country as well.’
    • ‘We spent Wednesday free skiing around the hills, though the snow was patchy.’
    • ‘Those that do well around the world find they have to adapt to local culture in order to succeed.’
    • ‘I run a website that organizes monthly meetings around the world for your fans.’
    • ‘I drove around most of the Midlands and east of England in this car and it acquitted itself admirably.’
    • ‘Critics around the world would be amazed at the sheer power the young girl had possessed.’
    • ‘Is the fact that American culture is spreading around the earth really a problem?’
    • ‘She persuaded some to speak at some of the meetings she organised around the country.’
    • ‘The band is still going ahead with organising autumn gigs around West Yorkshire in order to sell the album.’
    • ‘In fact the chief executives of most large media organizations around the world are not moguls but barons.’
    • ‘Individual experts and individual medical bodies around the world criticised it.’
    • ‘For a dead guy, he sure knows how to get his name around town, not to mention the world.’
    • ‘Organic farms around the UK will open their gates to the public, with events for all the family.’
    • ‘I think it would be churlish to criticise the efforts that have been made around the globe to help.’
    • ‘Samaritan's Purse is a Christian organisation providing aid to people around the world.’
    • ‘It will be judged by six critics from around the world with the public providing one vote.’
    all over, about, here and there in, everywhere in, in all parts of, to all parts of
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  • 3So as to pass (a place or object) in a curved or approximately circular route.

    ‘he walked around the airfield’
    ‘it can drill around corners’
    • ‘The circular walk around Lake Burwains is one of the best places in Lancashire to watch birds in winter.’
    • ‘This is despite the fact that Devizes is the only town in the county to have no relief routes around its town centre.’
    • ‘Their ship was on the west side of the island, and they were now rowing around it.’
    • ‘I have to edge along a small path around a hill where pear trees sway, heavy fruit.’
    • ‘The dog ran up around the edge of the lake, then up the hill to where I was to get a big cuddle.’
    • ‘Once, Tracy and I were walking around Avebury and the darkness of winter closed in upon us.’
    • ‘Instead she walked around at ground level following me as I walked nervously around the top level.’
    • ‘It will start at York's Millennium Bridge and take in a scenic route around the walkways.’
    • ‘Following the route around the museum will certainly keep you fit if nothing else.’
    • ‘Still, dashing around the circular keypad is tough and does not make for lengthy e-mails.’
    • ‘The new access route will take people around the back of the waiting room and towards the crossing gates.’
    • ‘The walk follows a two-mile route around the village of Staveley on New Year's Day.’
    • ‘We followed the noise and found ourselves walking a boardwalk around the steep cliff.’
    • ‘I was able to drive all the way around it and came out of it in sixth place.’
    • ‘The bus will also serve Kirkwall, doing a route around the town between each trip to Stromness.’
    • ‘She made her way around the circular temple and to the back of the stone building.’
    • ‘Dive guides tend to take you on a rather circuitous route around the coral formations.’
    • ‘Relief cash was also raised through a sponsored walk around Bury town centre on Wednesday.’
    • ‘The track there could only be provided around the existing stock car track.’
    • ‘You will be spilt into groups of five and you will each be given a route around the palace.’
  • 4So as to encircle or embrace (someone or something)

    ‘he put his arm around her’
    • ‘He currently has a Latvian scarf around his neck to keep his throat warm.’
    • ‘The very first bed on the left hand side had a green curtain pulled around it.’
    • ‘Brush around the edges with butter and fold in the sides then roll up into fingers.’
    • ‘An indigenous tradition is to tie an amulet of a fish bone from the Nile around the child's neck or arm.’
    • ‘If it wasn't for a circle of gold around his neck, he would have appeared desolate.’
    • ‘He was joined by two other men who all crowded around her and started wiping the liquid off her.’
    • ‘Strong westerly winds circle the globe in middle latitudes around this vortex.’
    • ‘I guess it was an exaggeration of the collective myths all families spin around themselves.’
    • ‘Unfortunately we were few, and the police horses were able to ride around us and surround us.’
    • ‘I found her several feet away from the fight area on the ground, a crowd huddled around her.’
    • ‘In a quick movement, I flung my arm around his neck and placed the gun to his side.’
    • ‘I have to face these facts, so that I won't cling on to the deceit he spun around me.’
    • ‘This evening I was hopping around the bedroom after coming out of the shower, towel tied around my waist.’
    • ‘They would bind it on their arms or put it in small bag and wear it around the neck.’
    • ‘His arm was wrapped around me and every once in a while his lips would brush my cheek.’
    • ‘With that, he placed the necklace around his neck and embraced her for one last time.’
    • ‘Then they dive at one another, egged on by a small crowd that has gathered around them.’
    • ‘Dad always has a crowd around him because of his intelligence and sense of humor.’
    • ‘Fold this extra pastry back over to make a rim around the edge, then place it rim side down on top of the figs.’
    on every side of, on all sides of, about, circling, encircling, surrounding, encompassing, framing
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Usage

On the difference in use between round and around, see round

Phrases

  • 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’
      • ‘Annual festivals in cities like Edmonton, Ottawa and Halifax have been around for years.’
      • ‘These too have been around for years, and you can still catch them on any day in the mornings and early afternoons.’
      • ‘Gap years, sabbaticals, years off - call them what you will - have been around for a long time now.’
      • ‘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.’
      astute, sharp-witted, sharp, acute, intelligent, clever, alert, canny, media-savvy, perceptive, perspicacious, observant, discriminating, sagacious, sage, wise, far-seeing, far-sighted
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Origin

Middle English: from a- ‘in, on’ + round.

Pronunciation

around

/əˈraʊnd/