Definition of around in English:

around

adverb

  • 1Located or situated on every side.

    ‘the mountains towering all around’
    • ‘Even so, what marks the dive is the feeling that every fish for miles around has come here to enjoy the current.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It would affect residents the whole length of its route and would be visible for miles around.’
    • ‘There follows page after page of pencil sketches showing how they think it will look from miles around.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The bridge will have in-built lighting which should enable the bridge to be seen from miles around.’
    • ‘Smoke from the fire could be seen billowing into the sky for miles around.’
    • ‘This place really is in the middle of nowhere; there is no sign of life for miles around.’
    • ‘Juliet yelled as she ran up to her friend who was still beating up the boy with the crowd around.’
    • ‘They where commenting on how much more the area around had become very shabby.’
    • ‘Odd that the local pub doesn't get a mention, given that it's the only place you can buy food for miles around.’
    • ‘Victoria Mill chimney in Skipton is a landmark easily visible for miles around.’
    • ‘We expect every lunatic terrorist from miles around to descend on us like bees to honey’
    • ‘For a single week of the summer, there will hardly be a coach or limousine available for miles around.’
    • ‘The glowing orangish-red tip seems to be the only source of light for miles around.’
    • ‘First, Debenhams have the last say in which shops are situated around them.’
    • ‘You are likely to be the only one for miles around with such a unique Christmas decoration.’
    • ‘People came from miles around to go to the Market Hall because of the atmosphere and the stalls.’
    • ‘It could be seen for miles around and adds a new phrase to the English language.’
    • ‘Every motorbike for miles around is heading for the lake at the town centre.’
    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’
    • ‘She laughed to herself as she stepped directly behind Liam and twisted his chair around.’
    • ‘I walked a few steps further and then turned around and peered directly into the store.’
    • ‘He didn't turn his chair around and instead stayed facing the front of the room.’
    • ‘Once he had finished he turned around and started to head in my direction but stopped in his tracks.’
    • ‘She was sitting on the chair at her desk which she had turned around to face the TV to the left of her bed.’
    • ‘Inside the pub he felt someone grab him from behind and swivelled around quickly.’
    • ‘I turned around to meet with the gaze of the gunmen that were firing at me a minute ago.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I turned around in the opposite direction and started down the hall to my Band class.’
    • ‘The court heard that the ambulance was spun around by the force of the collision, of which Kelly had no memory.’
    • ‘She turned around and pointed in the direction of what looked like a little office.’
    • ‘The manager reaches across the desk, picks up the sheet and swivels around in his chair to face him.’
    • ‘She did so, turning around to meet his gaze evenly even though Cameron was a head taller.’
    • ‘When he talks, he swings around on his chair so he is effectively facing me.’
    • ‘Just after I'd been given the cold shoulder by his support, I turned around and there he was.’
    • ‘When they got to the door, he turned them around, and the crowd surged another cheer towards them.’
    • ‘Stating that any observation that works in one direction is also true when turned around.’
    • ‘Gently he turned him around to meet his eyes and all movement from the other boy ceased immediately.’
    • ‘I didn't mean to say it loudly, but everyone snickered and turned around to look at me.’
    • ‘Swivelling it around, Graeme let Jon look at the screen as the lines began to cycle out.’
    • ‘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
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  • 3In or to many places throughout a locality.

    ‘word got around that he was on the verge of retirement’
    • ‘He had been driving around slowly, shouting abuse and making obscene gestures at police officers.’
    • ‘He had been driving around and around after school ended, looking for something to do.’
    • ‘Top agents will collect you on arrival at the airport and drive you around to view selected properties.’
    • ‘Today's Question: Which Celebrity would you most like to drive around for an hour with?’
    • ‘After I got off the phone with him, I went out to my car and drove around for awhile.’
    • ‘I think that he is moving around meeting as many of these groups as possible.’
    • ‘So hanging out was good, we talked about something else and drove around and had all in all a nice time.’
    • ‘Today, he drives around in a vivid red Ferrari with a personalised numberplate.’
    • ‘Lucas was adamant about having a nice, reliable car for us to drive the baby around in.’
    • ‘I have now been driving this Kia around for about five days and have discovered that it goes like the clappers.’
    • ‘They will be driving around and spraying with Malathion in an effort to kill the enemy out.’
    • ‘Bored, he spends all day driving around in his hire car - a white Fiat Uno, as it happens.’
    • ‘A couple of seasons later he owned a black Honda City, the car that he drives around in.’
    • ‘Do they park up and pay up, or do they drive around looking for a free space in another street?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In fact, word went around among the five- and six-year-olds that she was a witch.’
    • ‘There was a rumor going around at the meet 'n' greet and then among people going in to the concert that you were there.’
    • ‘If driving around looking for gifts is more pain than pleasure, why not let the Net do the shopping for you?’
    • ‘Once upon a time you could drive around with a radar detector so you knew where the radar traps were.’
  • 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.’
    • ‘I wandered aimlessly around thinking about the play and failing to find a wireless hotspot.’
    • ‘I wandered around until daylight and caught some sleep in the sunshine whenever I could.’
    • ‘I feel slightly lost, not depressed or anything just wandering around with little to do.’
    • ‘Still, we hooked up with my sister and spent a very enjoyable day wandering around, so that was nice.’
    • ‘After watching the end of the parade, and a fancy dress contest we wandered around.’
    • ‘LA isn't really the kind of place that you just go wandering around in on foot.’
    • ‘And if it does, you can't expect everyone to stand around and accept you as you are.’
    • ‘When it becomes crowded they carefully root around in loose jacket pockets or open handbags.’
    • ‘I was wandering around in a daze, in a white frock, and people were saying nice things.’
    • ‘After the first rehearsal, we sat around planning our careers in the music business.’
    • ‘Sailors in bleached white uniforms wander around trying to convince themselves they are having fun.’
    • ‘Being able to wander around aimlessly is the best way to see things that you'd normally never see, new bands.’
    • ‘One time we were at a party and everyone was sitting around talking about sex and relationships.’
    • ‘After that, headed off to the Marais, where she left me to wander around on my own.’
    • ‘Why should we have yet more people, wandering around stoned, causing mayhem on our streets?’
    • ‘Everyone was standing around applauding because they thought it was such a work of genius.’
    • ‘I'm wandering around in a restless state, reading a page from one book and moving on to another.’
    • ‘It was either that or wander around outside so it was safer to be inside.’
    • ‘He'd driven the van around aimlessly until it had run out of fuel and spluttered and died.’
    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 open but complex moorland of Ilkley is thought to be one of the most challenging orienteering areas around.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The only regret she mentions is that her father is not around to receive a signed copy.’
    • ‘It's been tough for Dav, tough for the board and tough for everyone around.’
    • ‘I agree with you that while there are a plethora of organisations around, unity would be better.’
    • ‘And there were more ballet companies around at that time than is often remembered.’
    • ‘There are old people's flats around and they feel threatened with the rowdy behavior of these kids.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We need Community Support Officers around when people are feeling vulnerable at night.’
    • ‘There are lots of Weblogs already around but only the tip of the iceberg is visible.’
    • ‘This did not mean, however, that his ideas were accepted by everyone around.’
    • ‘It stuck around even through Margaret Thatcher's reign because nobody dared tinker with it.’
    • ‘We make sure there are enough competitions around and fights organised at the club level to keep them busy too.’
    • ‘They know they are not going to be around when Livingstone takes over the tube.’
    • ‘Since the two incidents, Petra has been kept on a lead and had a muzzle on when people are around, the court heard.’
    • ‘Love means sticking around through the tough times and not baling out because of a little trouble.’
    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’
    • ‘It was a long drive to our next stop - around 160 miles to the east on the coast at Torrent.’
    • ‘It is anticipated that the whole scheme will take around five years to complete.’
    • ‘The case covers dates from around 1988 up to the summer of last year and involves six alleged victims.’
    • ‘After Aitken had left the field injured around the hour mark, more chances came Airdrie's way.’
    • ‘You can be in your hotel room within around five hours of leaving Bolton, if you fly.’
    • ‘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 journey is around 200 miles, and they will arrive in a couple of days in his hired carriage.’
    • ‘The Bolton group meets every Friday and a typical meeting attracts around 20 people.’
    • ‘By the end of last week we had got through to around 100 people on the phone.’
    • ‘The main focal points in the park are the Iron Age hill fort, which covers around 12 acres.’
    • ‘They are due to perform to a sell-out crowd of around 130 proud parents and friends.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Vinny and Neil managed to meet in Iraq around three weeks ago while both were stationed in Basra.’
    • ‘However, current research shows that bits of hair are only present in around half the sinuses in this area of skin.’
    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’
    • ‘Everything around him began to spin and all he could think of was the girl in his arms.’
    • ‘The town nestles in a bay which looks over to the hills around Loch Striven, adding a misty splendour to the scene.’
    • ‘Together they made their way through the sea of people as they crowded around Him.’
    • ‘Kamihl the Afghan refugee is as much my neighbour as those living around me.’
    • ‘Crucially, there was no bleeding around the needle marks of the chest drain, some six inches away.’
    • ‘In the center of its pool was an elevated statue of a cupid, and around it was a circular green hedge.’
    • ‘There was a long oak table that ran the length of the room, and several chairs around it.’
    • ‘The air around the hill of Knocknashee is responding to the sound of music these days and nights.’
    • ‘She is watched through eyes of steel, unable to understand the presences around her.’
    • ‘There are huge TV screens dotted around showing the Jubilee with crowds around them.’
    • ‘It exists not just in computer, but in the information streaming through the air around us.’
    • ‘Why do two people who share such a deep bond treat each other and everyone around them so badly?’
    • ‘Straight for the hills, the green hills around Glasgow, apparently glad to get out of there alive.’
    • ‘Daly is laughing as he speaks, but those around him take his words extremely seriously.’
    • ‘Then proceed to talk to everyone around you as if there were nothing else to do there.’
    • ‘She felt them crowd around her in a circle, felt the pressure and the heat of unclothed flesh.’
    • ‘Ugly looking shacks not trees or flowers now wrapped many hills in and around Seoul.’
    • ‘What has happened to the player whose very presence intimidated those around him?’
    • ‘We also have just had speed humps installed around Beulah Hill crossroads.’
    • ‘Peter agreed he was a real handful who made life a misery for those living around him.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’
      • ‘Many, such as this site, aim to provide a community and generate debate around a common subject of interest.’
      • ‘The stronger PCS branches have to help the weaker branches to organise around the dispute.’
      • ‘The forum should be helping people to organise around their chosen themes.’
      • ‘Olympic organisers wrote the track and field timetable around her bid to win five gold medals.’
      • ‘He saw the united front as a way of organising around a specific set of demands.’
      • ‘Today the EU seeks to organise Europeans around a consciousness of vulnerability.’
      • ‘This is therefore an excellent cause to rally around and to test our political power.’
      • ‘They even take it as their name, and they organize their lives around this principle.’
      • ‘Recently she has concentrated her efforts around fundraising for various organisations.’
      • ‘The line then is only drawn by the culture around transvestites but I might be missing something?’
      • ‘The reason we say we need that critical mass is the issue around assimilation.’
      • ‘The EU is actually a set of complex networks, organized around specific policy domains.’
      • ‘An attempt is made here to organize the decisions around six aspects of necessity.’
      • ‘Organising your intranet around a portal, for instance, doesn't make it any better.’
      • ‘The king then sought to organize a new royalist coalition around a programme of religious liberty for all.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I was meaning to write a few key words as pointers for me to talk around, but ended up writing in complete sentences.’
      • ‘A movie like this tends to attract an awful lot of abstract nonsense going on around it.’
      • ‘However, the organisation around a landing in Norway had been fraught with problems.’
      • ‘It's the first time the middle east has organized or played host around these issues.’
  • 2In or to many places throughout (a community or locality)

    ‘cycling around the village’
    ‘a number of large depots around the country’
    • ‘For a dead guy, he sure knows how to get his name around town, not to mention the world.’
    • ‘Samaritan's Purse is a Christian organisation providing aid to people around the world.’
    • ‘We spent Wednesday free skiing around the hills, though the snow was patchy.’
    • ‘I drove around most of the Midlands and east of England in this car and it acquitted itself admirably.’
    • ‘In fact the chief executives of most large media organizations around the world are not moguls but barons.’
    • ‘It will be judged by six critics from around the world with the public providing one vote.’
    • ‘Organic farms around the UK will open their gates to the public, with events for all the family.’
    • ‘The band is still going ahead with organising autumn gigs around West Yorkshire in order to sell the album.’
    • ‘Groups around Britain are organising delegations to send to the conference.’
    • ‘Individual experts and individual medical bodies around the world criticised it.’
    • ‘A scheduled tour around the county was organised prior to the elderly guest's visit.’
    • ‘She persuaded some to speak at some of the meetings she organised around the country.’
    • ‘They were not the only group there as there were organisations from around the country as well.’
    • ‘Is the fact that American culture is spreading around the earth really a problem?’
    • ‘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 run a website that organizes monthly meetings around the world for your fans.’
    • ‘Those that do well around the world find they have to adapt to local culture in order to succeed.’
    • ‘Critics around the world would be amazed at the sheer power the young girl had possessed.’
    • ‘His image is everywhere around this city and he's even had a fast ferry named after him.’
    • ‘I think it would be churlish to criticise the efforts that have been made around the globe to help.’
    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’
    • ‘We followed the noise and found ourselves walking a boardwalk around the steep cliff.’
    • ‘She made her way around the circular temple and to the back of the stone building.’
    • ‘Once, Tracy and I were walking around Avebury and the darkness of winter closed in upon us.’
    • ‘I have to edge along a small path around a hill where pear trees sway, heavy fruit.’
    • ‘You will be spilt into groups of five and you will each be given a route around the palace.’
    • ‘The track there could only be provided around the existing stock car track.’
    • ‘Dive guides tend to take you on a rather circuitous route around the coral formations.’
    • ‘I was able to drive all the way around it and came out of it in sixth place.’
    • ‘The dog ran up around the edge of the lake, then up the hill to where I was to get a big cuddle.’
    • ‘The circular walk around Lake Burwains is one of the best places in Lancashire to watch birds in winter.’
    • ‘Relief cash was also raised through a sponsored walk around Bury town centre on Wednesday.’
    • ‘The walk follows a two-mile route around the village of Staveley on New Year's Day.’
    • ‘The new access route will take people around the back of the waiting room and towards the crossing gates.’
    • ‘Their ship was on the west side of the island, and they were now rowing around it.’
    • ‘This is despite the fact that Devizes is the only town in the county to have no relief routes around its town centre.’
    • ‘The bus will also serve Kirkwall, doing a route around the town between each trip to Stromness.’
    • ‘Still, dashing around the circular keypad is tough and does not make for lengthy e-mails.’
    • ‘Following the route around the museum will certainly keep you fit if nothing else.’
    • ‘It will start at York's Millennium Bridge and take in a scenic route around the walkways.’
    • ‘Instead she walked around at ground level following me as I walked nervously around the top level.’
  • 4So as to encircle or embrace (someone or something)

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