Definition of round in English:



  • 1Shaped like a circle or cylinder.

    ‘she was seated at a small, round table’
    • ‘It is also a town with an impressive heritage - an ancient church and round tower and a large enclosed medieval castle, some of which has been re-roofed.’
    • ‘Each door has a small round window and on the walls hang life buoys.’
    • ‘A small round table at one end and a book stand next to it.’
    • ‘In the center was a perfectly round hole, also three-quarters of an inch.’
    • ‘His eyes look huge behind those rosy round spectacles.’
    • ‘Blake was sitting at one of the round tables, staring into thin air.’
    • ‘A faint light shone from the small round window on the door.’
    • ‘He takes off his small round glasses, wipes away the mist.’
    • ‘The 40 rooms are small round huts with thatched roofs rising to a central spire.’
    • ‘She had large, round gold earrings that she always wore.’
    • ‘Ebony woke to see the morning sun light just coming through the small round window.’
    • ‘A small " perfectly round hole " was found in the glass, which was crazed.’
    • ‘He saluted and adjusted his large round wire rimmed glasses.’
    • ‘Marie was sitting at one of the small round tables surrounding the dance floor.’
    • ‘The circle, on a hilltop setting, is nearly perfectly round, with a diameter of 33 m.’
    • ‘The Emperor Augustus had built a round shrine in front of it to put a Roman hallmark on Greece.’
    • ‘Without really thinking about it, she drew a huge, round circle on the page.’
    • ‘In front of the fireplace sat a round card table, covered by a green cloth, and flanked by four plush, green leather upholstered wingback chairs.’
    • ‘I could see the fear etched across her small round face.’
    • ‘I read each label on the round cylinders and the vials within.’
    circular, disc-shaped, disc-like
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    1. 1.1Having a curved shape like part of the circumference of a circle.
      ‘round brackets’
      • ‘She sat down on the rock and unbuckled her shoe which was black with a round toe and a chunky heel, rather like a boot that'd had the top cut off it.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The second floor was raised on round arches and supported a balcony resting on a row of buttresses forming an eaveslike projection.’
      • ‘They slid into a round booth next to a French window.’
      • ‘Her hair was combed neatly, and her nails were nicely trimmed to make perfect round shapes.’
      • ‘Thick green grass lined a small, almost perfectly round curve along the bank of a stream, a small waterfall splashing softly thirty feet away.’
    2. 1.2(of a person's shoulders) bent forward from the line of the back.
      • ‘The innkeeper raised appealing eyes to heaven, spread out his long fingers, and heaved his round shoulders.’
      • ‘There is little or no excuse for round shoulders in healthy people.’
      • ‘His personal trademark are the signs of an existential fatigue: drooping shoulders, round backs, knees that are bent inward, lowered heads.’
      • ‘Round shoulders are often associated with tall people who round their shoulders to appear smaller.’
  • 2Shaped like a sphere.

    ‘a round glass ball’
    ‘the grapes are small and round’
    • ‘That day I had worn this thick cotton quilted coat and pants that my mother had made me, and I looked like a round snowball.’
    • ‘Slowly people left, and just as slowly the park darkened and the quaint round lanterns set around the circle flickered into life.’
    • ‘Some dolls had cloth bodies with a small round gourd, acorn, or apple for a head.’
    • ‘Her words rise toward the surface in bright, round bubbles.’
    • ‘He reached into his pocket and brought forth a small round sphere.’
    • ‘Tidily stacked on the shelves are round cabbages, stripped of their rough outer leaves, and a basket of glossy apples; bright seemly rotundities.’
    • ‘Baseball is more than round balls and base runs; it can also involve branding, design, and typography.’
    • ‘As it opened a small round object rolled out of it.’
    • ‘Then suddenly, he pulled the pinchers out, and in their serrated grasp was a perfectly round lead musket ball.’
    • ‘Elizabeth reached her arm out of the shop door and picked up a heavy, round stone.’
    • ‘I mean, melons come in all shapes and sizes - are we talking about little round gala melons or bloody big watermelons here?’
    • ‘It was round and spherical, with a deep groove on one side.’
    1. 2.1(of a person's body) plump.
      ‘he could move quickly despite his round physique’
      • ‘The round old man hurried to their side, eyeing the mix, taking a tentative mouthful of it.’
      • ‘She wore baggy shirts and tight pants which only accentuated her round figure.’
      • ‘Mr. Roberts was very bald, very round, had very thick glasses, and looked very hungry.’
      • ‘The rather round boy was identified as Paul and the freckly boy as Jake.’
      • ‘The round man blinked and adjusted his small circular glasses.’
      • ‘Josh Jones was a short, round man with a high-pitched voice and a constant grin.’
      • ‘A genuinely happy and rather round nurse bustled over to her.’
      • ‘Jasmine kissed him on his bruised lips and pressed as much of her round body against him as she could.’
      • ‘An old man with white hair came waddling out of the cottage, followed by a plump, round woman with rosy cheeks.’
      • ‘I thought of her round shape, her smiling eyes, and I couldn't help feeling warm inside.’
      • ‘Sheriff T.C. Wynn was a tall, round man with thick, shaded glasses and jet black hair that was graying at his temples.’
      • ‘Alex had naturally blond hair that was almost white, a perfect tan, a short and round frame that made her look chunky in certain outfits, and green eyes.’
      • ‘Uncle August was married to my Aunt Avice, a pudgy and round sort of woman.’
      • ‘His round body was only slightly taller than her own.’
      • ‘Richard Greene, a short, rather round man with thinning dirty-blonde hair, chuckled.’
      • ‘Lennie is a big man with great strength; his body and features are round and undefined.’
      plump, chubby, fat, stout, rotund, roly-poly, fattish, portly, dumpy, chunky, broad in the beam, overweight, heavy, pot-bellied, beer-bellied, paunchy, falstaffian
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    2. 2.2Having a curved surface with no sharp projections.
      ‘the boulders look round and smooth’
      • ‘The catalyst comprises a support containing palladium and silver and having a uniformly round external surface.’
      • ‘A large, round, smooth rock protruded suddenly a few feet past a break in the forest.’
      • ‘I felt my hand being pressed against a smooth, round mound.’
      • ‘Why are rocks found near rivers mostly smooth and round?’
  • 3(of a voice) rich and mellow; not harsh.

    ‘his rich, round voice went down well with the listeners’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘I always like champagne in the afternoon,’ he informed me in his rich round voice.’
    sonorous, resonant, rich, full, full-toned, full-bodied, mellow, mellifluous, rounded, reverberant, orotund
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  • 4[attributive] (of a number) expressed in convenient units rather than exactly, for example to the nearest whole number or multiple of ten.

    ‘the size of the fleet is given in round numbers’
    • ‘We could easily have taken more - but I wanted a nice, round number.’
    • ‘Do you think the company could string things out long enough for the fine to reach a nice, round billion dollars?’
    • ‘They were confused by our round sum of $25,000,000.’
    • ‘However other American railways used different gauges. 4 foot 10 inches was popular, and in the South a round 5 foot was often used.’
    • ‘The store manager saw on the daily transaction report that something was wrong, because it displayed an odd dollar amount rather than a round multiple of 20.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 4.1Used to show that a figure has been completely and exactly reached.
      ‘the batsman made a round 100’
      ‘a round dozen’
      • ‘The network of offices reached a round dozen this year.’
      • ‘Strauss, who made a round 50 on Tuesday, was the only England batsman to pass 45 runs in the match.’
      • ‘His output under his own name reached a round 200 novels.’
      complete, entire, whole, full, undivided, unbroken
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    2. 4.2archaic (of a sum of money) considerable.
      ‘his business is worth a round sum to me’
      • ‘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.’
  • 5Not omitting or disguising anything; frank.

    ‘she berated him in good round terms’
    candid, frank, direct, honest, truthful, straightforward, plain, plain-spoken, blunt, outspoken, forthright, downright, unvarnished, bald, straight from the shoulder, explicit, unequivocal
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  • 1A circular piece of something.

    ‘cut the pastry into rounds’
    • ‘We started with the meat patty, as that was a simple round.’
    • ‘Wendy had bowls and soup spoons laid out, and gracing the center of the table was a large round of crusty bread, still warm from the oven.’
    • ‘Cannon says they were developed for adults to either snack on right out of the bag or use on a party tray with crackers or small bread rounds.’
    • ‘All meals are accompanied with large rounds of flat bread.’
    • ‘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.’
    circle, disc, circlet
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    1. 1.1A thick disc of beef cut from the haunch as a joint.
      • ‘Nutrient composition data are available for four lean cuts of bison: rib-eye, clod, top round and top sirloin.’
      • ‘I would appreciate some information on how to cook an inside round of beef using a slow cook method.’
      • ‘Take a round of fresh beef (or the half of one if it is very large) and remove the bone.’
  • 2An act of visiting a number of people or places in turn.

    ‘she did the rounds of her family to say goodbye’
    • ‘He's been doing the rounds of the newspapers portraying himself as the victim of press intrusion into his private life, and discoursing on identity and being proud to be English.’
    • ‘For Dom, Kodak's capitulation proved to be the start of a busy round of newspaper and TV interviews for the IT contractor.’
    • ‘I made the rounds visiting all my friends and the new exhibit of the Pierre and Maria-Gaetana Matisse Collection.’
    • ‘Sara made the rounds of a few of the commands around the perimeter of the valley, attending to last-minute details.’
    • ‘Passing from room to room through a volley of slaps on the back, friendly kisses and a beer or two he did the rounds, drinking with friends and hiding from his family.’
    • ‘From there it was easy sneaking past the random guards making their rounds through the mansion.’
    • ‘His first night on the job the old night watchman gives him a tour, showing Martin the rounds he must make.’
    • ‘As he did his rounds, he was enjoined to try a piece of pie here, have some cider there, some roast meat, some cake.’
    • ‘When he was 20, Lewis made the rounds of Nashville's country career-makers.’
    • ‘He is making the rounds of all the mystery conventions, taking bows for his long and prosperous career, which may be winding down a bit after all these years.’
    • ‘I made the rounds of the cabin to see if any of the guys wanted to come with me and Dutchie.’
    • ‘Many roads were damaged and the waste trucks were having a hard time making their rounds.’
    • ‘The patrollers generally made their rounds at night, with their activity and regularity differing according to time and place.’
    • ‘Intrigued, and in no particular rush I decided to talk to her before making my rounds of the town.’
    • ‘Rather than have a separate sales staff, Sun's 12,000 sales reps also will sell software on their rounds.’
    • ‘An energetic round of theatre visits kept her in touch with the latest in dramatic writing and performance.’
    • ‘Guards patrolled the floor around the grate, one of them made his round through the grate-lifting room, checking it frequently.’
    • ‘In fact, the officer classes seem to have been engaged in a constant round of visits.’
    • ‘They had slipped away for a week in the Lake District, made the rounds of London society arm in arm.’
    • ‘He had put everything away in cupboards and drawers and he had not been back since the cleaning staff had made their rounds.’
    1. 2.1A regular tour of inspection in which the well-being of those visited is checked.
      ‘the doctor is just making his rounds in the wards’
      • ‘Her own father was a local doctor who would take her with him on his rounds.’
      • ‘The other flight attendants continued making their rounds.’
      • ‘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 doctor is on his rounds now, and he can't waste any time.’
      • ‘When on his rounds in the African hospital, he had been known to look at some minor injury to a hand or foot and then utter the dread words, ‘That will have to come off!’’
      • ‘The residence staff does sick rounds at six thirty, and the breakfast bell rings at seven.’
      • ‘That might include a doctor who takes her Tablet PC along for her morning rounds, an insurance agent, or even a package delivery person.’
      • ‘The jingle of keys rings out as the guard makes his rounds.’
      • ‘Katherine forced herself to move and continue on her rounds, encouraging tired and listless men.’
      circuit, beat, course, route
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    2. 2.2British A journey along a fixed route delivering goods as part of one's job or a job involving such journeys.
      ‘I did a newspaper round’
      • ‘My very first job was doing a bread delivery round for the Co-op for six months.’
      • ‘A local delivery driver tells the Graun that he's had to be towed out of the area three times in two weeks, and now keeps the engine running when he's on his rounds.’
  • 3Each of a sequence of sessions in a process, typically characterized by development between one session and another.

    ‘the two sides held three rounds of talks’
    • ‘It comes on the heels of a successful November launch of a new round of global trade talks.’
    • ‘Individual politicians can never be held responsible for falling policies, due to the endless rounds of talks that precede decisions in which all parties, more or less have to agree in the end.’
    • ‘Australia and Singapore have begun a second round of bilateral trade talks in Canberra, and are aiming to sign a free trade pact by the end of the year.’
    • ‘Investment in education in general, and in particular school education would play a vital role in the next round of development.’
    • ‘A new round of global trade negotiations is moving closer to being launched, as the six-day ministerial meeting in Doha draws to a close.’
    • ‘The senior officials have so far held three rounds of preparatory meetings this year.’
    • ‘The talks will be this year's third round of negotiations, and the 11 th overall.’
    • ‘In a second round of personal interviews, participants recalled critical incidents of using information from the Web.’
    • ‘They held a third round of talks in Beijing last week.’
    • ‘Mandela believed agreement would be reached in the next, final round of negotiations in July.’
    • ‘His first move will be to inject energy into the round of global trade negotiations that was launched last November in Doha, Qatar.’
    • ‘The six nations agreed to hold the next round of talks in early November in Beijing.’
    • ‘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.’
    spell, period, time, stretch, stint, turn, run, session, cycle
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    1. 3.1A division of a contest such as a boxing or wrestling match.
      • ‘He and Jones knew each other from way back and had fought some close rounds as amateurs.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I won one of the rounds, but she outscored me in the end.’
      contest, match, heat, competition, tournament, event, meeting, meet, fixture, game
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    2. 3.2Each of a succession of stages in a competition, in each of which more candidates are eliminated.
      ‘the FA Cup first round’
      • ‘In the first round of the play-offs they faced the Oakland Athletics.’
      • ‘Up to eighteen pianists will advance to the semifinal round, where each will present a program of no more than twenty minutes.’
      • ‘Town's passage follows that of Harrogate Railway Athletic, who also reached the third qualifying round 24 hours earlier.’
      • ‘In 2002 they reached the fourth round of the qualifiers against Kerry, and felt like they had finally arrived.’
      • ‘The tournament will have five rounds, one on the Thursday evening, two on the Friday (morning and evening), one on the Saturday and one on the Sunday.’
      • ‘As many as twenty six rounds of negotiations were held between the Akali Dal and the government.’
      • ‘Five ‘semi-finalists’ were chosen to move into the second round of the demolition derby.’
      • ‘The women went into Sunday's playoff round pleased with their overall play.’
      • ‘We feel sure that we've made it into the next round of the competition.’
      • ‘The Warriors will face the host team from York this morning before moving on to tomorrow's elimination round.’
      • ‘After that, we'll play in the first round of the conference tournament.’
      • ‘It had been rather emotional for those groups that were eliminated in the second round.’
      • ‘As mentioned last week, we still don't have a clear third place winner for this round of the contest.’
      • ‘The competition consists of three rounds: preliminary, semi-final and final.’
      • ‘This is the first round where the contestants are partnerless.’
      • ‘But all the same, it was a win and it guaranteed Wilson a spot in the next round.’
      • ‘The first time he entered, he was eliminated after the first round.’
      • ‘I didn't get past the second round so my last song was never performed.’
      • ‘Shelbourne is the first Irish league team to reach the final qualifying round since the beginning of the competition.’
      stage, level
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    3. 3.3An act of playing all the holes in a golf course once.
      ‘Eileen enjoys the occasional round of golf’
      • ‘One weekend, a group of friends decide that they aren't going to play the usual round of golf.’
      • ‘The Scot began yesterday's round with a par that gave no indication of what was to come.’
      • ‘He had been to the club, got in a round of golf, had an excellent buffet breakfast, and then headed home.’
      • ‘They just showed up once a quarter for a round of golf and a casual perusal of the books.’
      • ‘In certain instances students met with their industry mentors while playing a round of golf.’
      • ‘They will play four rounds of golf in one day.’
      • ‘It's perfect for kids - or kids at heart who don't have time to play a full 18-hole round.’
      • ‘So much business has been conducted over a round of golf that it's almost cliche.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But he is also described as a ‘personable’ guy who enjoys a round of golf and a drink.’
      • ‘The trips involved an overnight stay, a meal and a round of golf.’
      • ‘Once the round of golf is over, the brothers can relax in the hotel's leisure complex.’
      • ‘The Old Head is one of the most expensive courses in Ireland: green fees are €250 for a round of golf.’
      • ‘I like to play a round of golf, to potter around the garden, and visit markets.’
      • ‘Anyone who has played a round of golf will know how delays can frustrate anyone's best day on the links.’
      • ‘A round of gold at Erinvale Golf Course, at the foothills of the Helderberg Mountains, is unmissable.’
      • ‘A horse riding excursion through the New Forest can also be arranged as can a round of golf on the nine-hole course or on one of the ten nearby courses.’
      • ‘The lead seesawed between the two of them for much of the round, before John went ahead to stay after the 16th hole of the round.’
      • ‘We play the last round of the reunion tour golf championship.’
      • ‘Brennan said that while most GPs like to think they are not being influenced, the reality was that a meal or a round of golf did influence their choices.’
  • 4A regularly recurring sequence of activities.

    ‘their lives were a daily round of housework and laundry’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Festivities at Christmas, Easter, and May Day, at the end of ploughing and the completion of harvest, relieved the monotony of the daily round of labor.’
    • ‘For expats, life's an endless round of parties.’
    • ‘She is doing a little royal work and doing it well, but will not take on a full-time round of royal engagements.’
    succession, sequence, series, cycle
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    1. 4.1A 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’
      • ‘After a few rounds of the sugary drink, the girls got quite giggly and decided that what we really needed was a game of Truth or Dare.’
      • ‘They called over the bartender and ordered a round of beers.’
      • ‘Though she wasn't drinking anything harder than mineral water, Isabelle took her turn in buying a round of drinks.’
      • ‘She can't go blabbing out secrets after the third round of drinks.’
      • ‘Another round of drinks and she was stumbling around with the rest of them.’
      • ‘Hopefully, one of them will buy the first round of drinks.’
      • ‘After a few more rounds of drinks, I began to get lightheaded and figured I'd better stop drinking.’
      • ‘We order a round of drinks and then I head out to the dance floor.’
      • ‘Buying a round of drinks can get pretty steep sometimes.’
      • ‘Andrew was at the bar, ordering a round of drinks for them all.’
      • ‘After the revolution, newly hired workers no longer had to buy a round of drinks for their mates, and they no longer drank in honor of their bosses.’
      • ‘She distracted Annie from more questions by ordering around round of drinks for everyone.’
      • ‘I'll even promise a round of drinks for the staff the next time I'm in London.’
      • ‘Anyone joining a group of drinkers immediately buys a round of drinks for everyone at the table.’
      • ‘One group had gone through a couple of rounds of pints in the time that it had taken him to get served.’
      • ‘He walked smoothly towards the bar to get another round of drinks.’
      • ‘Betty walked over to give Jess and Phoebe their next round of drinks.’
      • ‘Whenever someone has money, they invite their friends to go out to a neighborhood bar for a round of drinks.’
      • ‘We park ourselves at the bar and order another round of drinks.’
      • ‘I went over to them and said, ‘I apologise’, and I bought them a round of drinks.’
  • 5Music
    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.

    • ‘The same loop has been started at different times on each monitor, in the manner of a ceaseless musical round, or canon.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The a cappella style of vocals that sit on top of each other is like listening to a band whose main musical influences are the playground rhymes and infant school rounds rather than actual songs.’
  • 6British A slice of bread.

    ‘two rounds of toast’
    • ‘Frightened, they ran away but returned shortly after to the soldier with a loaf of rye bread and a round of white bread.’
    • ‘Too lazy to wait for another round of bread to toast, he cheekily pinched a slice of Josh's from out of the toaster, hurriedly spreading butter across it before he noticed.’
    1. 6.1The quantity of sandwiches made from two slices of bread.
      • ‘We wound up the day around six o'clock with a round of sandwiches on the front porch.’
      • ‘Refuelling at lunchtime consisted of rounds of scrumptious sandwiches and cake, with tea and coffee on tap.’
      • ‘Kait and Pete had another round of sandwiches.’
  • 7The amount of ammunition needed to fire one shot.

    ‘the gun can fire 30 rounds a second’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘All the men were dressed in fatigues, and carried side arms and carried a number of rounds for the side arms as well as the rifles that they carried.’
    • ‘Three hand grenades, four revolvers, one rifle and 150 rounds of ammunition had been found.’
    • ‘You can even attempt to subdue a suspect by flashing your badge or firing a couple of rounds into the air in hopes of scaring the sucker into compliance.’
    • ‘What impresses them is if I go out to my balcony in the middle of the night and fire off three rounds from my rifle.’
    • ‘In the initial 30 seconds I would say that a hundred rounds were fired at the crowd.’
    • ‘Then, suddenly, there is a different sound - the gut-churning crack of live rounds being fired.’
    • ‘My gun snapped up, and I squeezed off a quick burst of silenced rounds even before his gun was halfway up.’
    • ‘So she angled the gun around the corner and fired several rounds before she heard the man go down.’
    • ‘The rate of fire for the gun was 250-300 rounds per minute.’
    • ‘Julie raised her gun and fired off a few rounds at the men above.’
    • ‘The pilot directs the vehicle, and the gunner has a full 360° control of the turret which can either fire machine gun rounds, or mortars.’
    • ‘His father fired a few rounds into the plastic dummy.’
    • ‘I have been to a gun club and I have fired off rounds for kicks.’
    • ‘This was a large calibre assault rifle which could fire up to 1200 rounds per minute.’
    • ‘The directional pad is used for zooming in on targets, and the trigger buttons fire rounds of ammunition.’
    • ‘From a distance of about six feet, he aims the shotgun at Danny's side and fires off a round.’
    • ‘Insurgents spotted the jam and launched three mortar rounds.’
    • ‘We shot several rounds of high-explosive ammunition into the area.’
    • ‘In 1885, Maxim developed a single-barrel weapon that could fire 500 rounds of ammunition a minute.’
    bullet, cartridge, shell, shot
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    1. 7.1Archery A fixed number of arrows shot from a fixed distance.
      • ‘She did a whole round of arrows, perfect shots every single time - straight to the bull's eye.’


  • 1So as to rotate or cause rotation; with circular motion.

    ‘a plane circled round overhead’
    ‘she turned her glass round and round’
    • ‘Placing them back in their case, I closed my eyes and began to rub my temples, round and round in a steady and gentle circular motion.’
    • ‘She plopped the fish back in the clean water where they swam round and round, looking puzzled.’
    • ‘Red and purple hangings hung from gold walls, and the dancers twirled round and round.’
    • ‘The question went round and round in my head until I had exhausted all other options.’
    • ‘One stupid thought kept going round and round in my mind.’
    • ‘I twisted the knob round slowly, quietly; carefully - I pulled the door towards me and ran out.’
    • ‘Alex twirled round in a circle, trying to figure out which bus she was meant to be on.’
    • ‘A 3 day road trip could turn into a 3 year road trip because you would take us round and round in circles.’
    • ‘You are like a rudderless ship; you go round and round in circles.’
    • ‘Her mind had gone round and round in the same circles, formulating plans and then dismissing them.’
    • ‘We seemed to spend the majority of the evening going round and round in circles.’
    • ‘If, like me, you have no interest whatsoever in watching horses run round in a circle, don't worry, the film is really about the community and its infectious passion for this event.’
    • ‘Do you want me to drive round in circles or are you going to direct me to your house?’
    1. 1.1So as to cover or take in the whole area surrounding a particular centre.
      ‘she paused to glance round admiringly at the décor’
      • ‘He looked round appreciatively at his comfortable modern flat.’
      • ‘Mark puts the phone down and glances round to take another look at the apartment.’
      • ‘She glanced round for a way out, frowning as she realised there wasn't one.’
      • ‘I explained the lay out of The Old Loom Mill and left everyone to walk round at their own pace.’
      • ‘Amy peered round at the vast landscape surrounding her and held her fingers to her nose to block the awful stench of rotting corpses.’
    2. 1.2So as to reach everyone in a particular group or area.
      ‘he passed round a newspaper cutting’
      • ‘As the jugs of wine were passed round and the atmosphere grew more ribald, Bligh wondered if this was just going to be some kind of orgy.’
      • ‘Thumping drum and bass booms out, then cans of cider are passed round.’
      • ‘After the traditional toasts to Church and Queen and the ancient house, a drinking horn used for the purpose ever since the college was founded was passed round as a loving cup.’
      • ‘Now the hubble-bubble pipes are being passed round, and al-Madfai changes direction yet again.’
  • 2So as to rotate and face in the opposite direction.

    ‘he swung round to face her’
    • ‘I turned round and saw Steve walking up to us, still with that same helpful smile on his face.’
    • ‘He spun round, startled, then grabbed me in a bear hug.’
    • ‘He swung his legs round, and slid slowly into the long grass, which came up to his knees.’
    • ‘Desiree laughed then turned round heading back to the rooms.’
    • ‘My voice was small, but everyone turned round and she had no choice but to acknowledge me.’
    • ‘He swung round to investigate, only to be greeted with a ‘twang’ and a sudden intense pain in his arm that knocked him to the ground.’
    • ‘He helped the frightened man back on his feet, and then turned round.’
    • ‘The ship swings round before its engines power up and it heads off.’
    • ‘Hearing footsteps behind her, she got to her feet and turned round.’
    • ‘Jo gave a smile and turned round.’
    • ‘He suddenly gasped, he gasped so loud that the whole class turned round to face him.’
    • ‘I sighed, and swung my legs round, sitting up on the edge of the bed.’
    • ‘Margaret turned round to walk alongside of the girl in her feeble progress homeward.’
    • ‘I stopped her and swung her round to give her a full on kiss.’
    • ‘I turned round to look at everyone who had now sat down, and saw traces of jealousy drain from Jacob's face and turn back to a grin.’
    • ‘Swinging her bag onto her back, she turned round and stomped off.’
    • ‘Turning round I saw a young teen hooker drugged to her eyeballs working the street at three in the afternoon.’
    • ‘I whirl round to see Shaun standing several feet away from me, smiling that insidious smile of his.’
    • ‘Porter turned us round without looking to the woman by his side.’
    • ‘Lara swung round to face her oppressors.’
    1. 2.1So as to lead in another direction.
      ‘it was the last house before the road curved round’
      • ‘The way the site curves round to embrace the harbour with a view back across the town seemed to offer an ideal position.’
      • ‘The track bent round to run alongside the river.’
      • ‘He guided me with a hand on my back, towards the path at the side of the house that ran round to the back garden.’
      • ‘To give a sense of enclosure, and to avoid the long back rows common to most fan-shaped auditoria, the rear wall is brought round in a wide curve, embracing the audience.’
      • ‘The path twisted round and round for what felt like an eternity.’
    2. 2.2Used in describing the position of something, typically with regard to the direction in which it is facing or its relation to other items.
      ‘the picture shows the pieces the wrong way round’
      • ‘Will you please not email me to tell me the pics above are the wrong way round.’
      • ‘If you connect an LED the wrong way round it won't kill it - it just wont produce any light.’
      • ‘I turn arrows and street signs the wrong way round and chuckle at the thought of people getting lost.’
      • ‘He did as he was told, closing the door and relaxing a little, sitting on the chair the wrong way round and leaning on the back.’
    3. 2.3Used to describe a situation in terms of the relation between people, actions, or events.
      ‘it was he who was attacking her, not the other way round’
      • ‘She has criticised the whole modern theory of human rights as being conceived the wrong way round.’
      • ‘This is surely tackling the issue the wrong way round.’
      • ‘With public relations people, it is the other way round.’
  • 3So as to surround someone or something.

    ‘everyone crowded round’
    ‘a pool with banks all the way round’
    • ‘Filming with a mini camera quickly brought a good-natured crowd of local residents flocking round, proud of their remarkable monument.’
    • ‘The coffin was then carried into the yard by four men and everyone gathered round.’
    • ‘Once the warm-up was finished, Mr. Christian told them to gather round in a circle while he passed out the names.’
    • ‘I found myself in the garden of the farm-house, an orchard in the centre and flowerbeds all round.’
    • ‘He reached out an arm and pulled her close to him, slipping back under the covers and wrapping them round them both.’
    1. 3.1Used in stating the girth of something.
      ‘the trunk is nine feet round’
      • ‘It is twenty hundred feet round and has a Plexiglas ring going around it.’
      • ‘About 20 feet round and extending up and down seemingly forever, it neatly severed the bridge.’
  • 4So as to reach a new place or position, typically by moving to the other side of something.

    ‘he made his way round to the back of the building’
    ‘they went the long way round by the main road’
    • ‘I turned and held my wrists out to the guard, which he obligingly cuffed for me before leading me round into another corridor, and the interrogation rooms.’
    • ‘I had to go the long way round because a surprise was being set up for the party which was going to be held in the hall.’
    • ‘The fat guy was already moving round to the hatch.’
    • ‘Heaving another sigh, he jogged down the stairs to the lobby of the venue and made his way across to the side door which would lead him round to the backstage.’
    • ‘It bent to the left, sharply and I followed the walls round until I reached what I had been looking for, the docking bays.’
    • ‘Jamie walked round to the passenger side and got in.’
    • ‘I remembered there being one down by the reception, so I took the next corridor that would lead me round in that direction.’
    • ‘As soon as the coast was clear, I left the alcove and walked back round to the front door, slowly.’
    • ‘Go round to the other side and go down the hidden passage.’
    • ‘He walked round to the drivers side and got in.’
    • ‘He moved round to the other side and opened the door, offering his hand to Misha to help her climb down.’
    • ‘I took the horse straight round to the changing area at the back.’
    • ‘She walked round to the other side of the bucket and, grinning, knelt down opposite.’
    1. 4.1Used to convey an ability to navigate or orientate oneself.
      ‘I like pupils to find their own way round’
      • ‘A rehabilitation plan was devised with a particular emphasis on teaching Jonathon the skills necessary to find his way round independently in unfamiliar places.’
      • ‘Do you know your way round yet?’
    2. 4.2informal Used to convey the idea of visiting someone else.
      ‘why don't you come round to my flat?’
      • ‘If it's being played at a party, how does it know if you're taking money at the door, rather than just having a few friends round?’
      • ‘If I halve this by drinking a little less and having friends round for drinks more often, I could save.’
      • ‘Jenny had invited everyone round to her house that evening.’
      • ‘If you can't bear to miss the football or that chick flick you've always wanted to see, go watch it round at a friend's house.’
      • ‘‘It's just that you could bring her round this evening, if you like,’ he offered.’
      • ‘She loved to make them angry by bringing her friends round for meals at her house.’
  • 5Used to suggest idle and purposeless motion or activity.

    ‘he was driving round aimlessly’
    • ‘I just wandered round really and eventually parked myself in a bar and drank coffee.’
    • ‘I walked round a bit and immediately fell for the city.’
    • ‘We have spent a very hot afternoon walking round and taking pics.’
    • ‘I don't know what you think you're doing anyway, mooching round here.’
  • 6So as to give support and companionship.

    ‘if one girl is distraught the others will rally round’
    • ‘And if any of them finds himself in trouble, his old schoolmates will be expected to rally round in support.’
    • ‘And we are hoping other companies rally round and make it a trend.’
    • ‘A Hampshire Internet Service Provider is looking for others to rally round and support a complaint it's made.’


  • 1On every side of (a focal point)

    ‘the area round the school’
    ‘with shifting sands all round me’
    • ‘The visitor passes through one of the rooms into the central part of the house, arranged round a garden with a colonnaded portico fronting a series of formal rooms.’
    • ‘Kiosks swarm round every underpass, Metro entrance and train station, selling anything from food and alcohol to pirated CD-ROMs and stereo components.’
    • ‘We took our seats round a garden table placed to catch the warming sun.’
    • ‘The river drains into swampy areas round Lake Bangweulu.’
    • ‘They gathered round the mother to comfort her.’
    • ‘Emma shook her head and continued to stare down at the crowd gathered round the house.’
    • ‘These objects he arranges round the rim of a protective circle he has drawn on the ground.’
    • ‘Once they had, they huddled round a small table in the corner and began to make their way through their lunch which they had journeyed ten minutes for.’
    • ‘There were two tiers on seating that ran round the edge of the room encircling the open space in the centre.’
    • ‘A mix of uses is replacing the industrial area round the river port.’
    • ‘Then I lit the candle and held the stick of sealing-wax in the flame, letting the red drops fall round the bottle cap until it was tightly sealed.’
    • ‘Tim was whipped away from the scene by the teacher's calling, and he, as well as the rest of the class, lined up in a circle round the tall and lean Mr. Khan.’
    • ‘Dark circles were apparent round his eyes, as if he suffered from insomnia.’
    • ‘Hordes of urchins had gathered round Hobson as he left the church.’
    • ‘All were seated around a large table that had just enough seats to fit everyone round it.’
    • ‘They formed a circle round me, not a good thing, and one I shifted to avoid.’
    • ‘‘A very ugly old woman, with red rims round her eyes’, Mrs Brown deals in rags and bones in a small way.’
    • ‘Even the birds liked this newcomer, as they circled round it, chirping happily.’
    • ‘Her lipstick has bled into the soft skin round her mouth.’
    • ‘Seeing as his friend was obviously unable to think with so much clamor round him, Everett led the way through the jumbled desks.’
    around, about, encircling, enclosing
    around, about, encircling, enclosing
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1(of something abstract) having (the thing mentioned) as a focus.
      ‘the text is built round real practical examples’
      • ‘The film is based round real events.’
      • ‘His analysis here is focused round the capitalist ‘commodity’.’
      • ‘Legends accumulated round his name: he was supposed to work miracles, controlling the winds and raising the dead, and to have met his death plunging into the crater of Etna.’
      • ‘That book centred round one field trip to the islands.’
  • 2So as to encircle (someone or something)

    ‘he wrapped the blanket round him’
    ‘she drew a red circle round his name’
    • ‘He hasn't shaved, and the yellow t-shirt he's wearing is tied round his navel to reveal a hairy, skinny belly.’
    • ‘He wrapped a black rope round the man's neck.’
    • ‘I sighed against his mouth, my arms circling round his neck.’
    • ‘Dale immediately shook off his jacket and wrapped it round Tiffany while staring at me.’
    • ‘She drew herself up, knees pulled up to her chest, chin resting on them, arms wrapped round her shins, curled up into a tight, defensive ball.’
    • ‘Some men try to tie a noose round the neck of the statue, but nothing happens.’
    • ‘‘Guess who’ said a voice which sounded as sweet as honey to Alex as two hands wrapped round his eyes from behind.’
    • ‘Adam found another blanket and draped it round the empty eyed woman's shoulders.’
    • ‘This example would have been worn on a chain round the neck, proudly displayed like an order or badge of loyalty.’
    • ‘I tear off a long strip and wind it round Leo's wounded shoulder.’
    • ‘He wrapped it round her arm in a makeshift bandage.’
    • ‘She lay there, with one arm creeping round a bar of the iron gate, and seeming to embrace it.’
    • ‘He had on a navy blue suit that really suited him, with a plain red tie knotted round his neck.’
    • ‘Erin was quiet for a long minute, winding the blanket round her fingers.’
    • ‘He reached over and gently wrapped the blanket round her.’
    • ‘He put the jacket round Mel's shoulders and she started to slide her arms into it.’
    • ‘I needed a big circle for my cover idea so I drew round a suitably sized plate.’
    • ‘He pulled her onto his lap and wrapped the blanket round her shoulders.’
    • ‘On the way to see it, he saw a poster on the tube somewhere with a circle drawn round the head of the relevant person.’
    • ‘Thompson is preparing a rope and grapple line, fixing it round a sturdy-looking rock near the entrance to the cave.’
    1. 2.1(of a person's arm or arms) partially encircling (another person) as a gesture of affection.
      ‘Angus put an arm round Flora and kissed her’
      • ‘Ollie put his arms gently round Jean's shuddering body and lightly kissed the top of her head.’
      • ‘We lay on her bed with our arms round each other and just talked and kissed till way past 2.’
      • ‘The redhead beamed and flung both arms round his brother.’
      • ‘We wrapped our arms round each other and swayed, our bodies moving as one.’
      • ‘‘You're crazy,’ I laughed, flicking his hair out his eyes affectionately as he put his arm round my shoulder.’
      • ‘They stood in the middle of the canteen, arms round each other and heads held close together.’
      • ‘Isabelle throws her arms round her daughter and the pair stay there for a while, just crying.’
      • ‘Without really thinking about it, I put my arm round Lennie's shoulder and gave him a hug.’
      • ‘She put her arm gently round Carrie's shoulders and practically shut the door in Adam's face, so he and Hoss headed off to the polling booths.’
      • ‘He drove with one hand, his other arm round the girl.’
      • ‘Sean put his arm round Chelsea, and they cuddled close, their baby fast asleep in Chelsea's arms.’
      • ‘She gave me a dazzling smile and we walked to the bathroom together, and after making sure it was empty she grabbed me, and our lips met, our arms round each other.’
      • ‘She put her arm round her girlfriend and they laughed.’
      • ‘Eventually we lay giggling in the grass with our arms round each other.’
      • ‘He puts his arm round my waist and I let it stay, thankful for the support.’
      • ‘Walking over to him she put her arm round him and slowly led him away.’
      • ‘He bowed slightly, put an arm round the two children, then turned towards the door.’
      • ‘He flung an arm round Wilfred's shoulder, completely oblivious to his friend's shy embarrassment.’
      • ‘They rose simultaneously and Andrew put a comforting arm round his wife to guide her but she pulled away from him.’
      • ‘Lisa and Ashley leave with their arms round each other.’
  • 3Following an approximately circular route past (a corner or obstacle)

    ‘a bus appeared round the corner’
    • ‘Quickly, he led us outside, and round the corner.’
    • ‘Lydia crept round the corner.’
    • ‘As I walked round the outside of the church, I found the bell-ringers of 1985 doing exactly what Skinner had complained of in 1825.’
    • ‘The guards followed and chased them round a corner.’
    • ‘Soon summer came and Ian cycled almost every day (although never again round his previous route past the shops and up the hill).’
    • ‘He jogged round the other side of the car and jumped in and started the engine.’
    • ‘He fished his keys out of his pocket and made his way round the other side of the car, unlocking the driver's door.’
    • ‘Once, after boasting how little petrol his car used to go round the mountain, a crowd of people turned out asking Sam to prove it.’
    • ‘Working his way round the side of the house, he finally found the perfect spot to enter, the windows were dark, the rooms unoccupied above and below.’
    • ‘She attempted to run round him but his reach was too long.’
    • ‘He first came across a wild boar 14 years ago, when his wife had to swerve round one in the road.’
    • ‘He sways from side to side as he pretends to take the car round a sharp bend, and then the next one.’
    • ‘Without another word, Stephanie opens the door and strides round the car to walk up the front steps.’
    • ‘The major trade routes were sea lanes round England.’
    • ‘A thin line of smoke started to spiral up from the ruptured engine as Ian scrambled round the back of the car, catching his trouser leg on the crumpled rear bumper.’
    • ‘After Alexander conquered the city, he had Batis tied to a chariot and dragged round the city's walls until he died an excruciating death.’
    • ‘He carried on round the corner of the hotel and then accelerated away down the other half of the loop.’
    • ‘She ran round the side to go in by the back entrance.’
    • ‘The bus sped round the corner.’
    • ‘We were going to do it at a part of the road where he couldn't just swerve round us.’
    1. 3.1On the other side of (a corner or obstacle)
      ‘Steven parked the car round the corner’
      • ‘There's a great place called ‘AK 47’ which is just round the corner from me and they put on punk gigs on a regular basis.’
      • ‘The house was round the corner from Lady Isabella Finch's house, 44 Berkeley Square, which had recently been built by William Kent.’
      • ‘No major UK economists are predicting a recession round the corner.’
      • ‘The Italian confirmed the target's house, and turning round, the driver pulled in and waited round the corner.’
      • ‘I glance around nervously but the car park is round the back of the warehouse and everything seems fairly deserted.’
      • ‘Just round the corner is a Chinese Restaurant.’
      • ‘The general election is just round the corner, and the Labour party is still wittering on about ID cards.’
      • ‘She catches up with them just round the block.’
      • ‘Five o'clock came and we met Lawrence round the corner from the kitchen.’
      • ‘We used to have a skate park round the corner from our place in Manchester.’
      • ‘You run the youth group at the school round the corner.’
      • ‘He noticed another soldier round the corner.’
      • ‘He leant against the small bench and waited for Callum to return from round the corner.’
      • ‘A store round the corner sells a 2.4GHz laptop with Windows XP for CAN $1139.’
      • ‘Then there's the girl in the shop round the corner who you keep popping out to get a glimpse of, but you're still married.’
      • ‘No worries - there's a lovely Chinese just round the corner.’
      • ‘It was a really nice place, the bar wasn't in the main building, but had an entrance of its own round the corner.’
      • ‘He got up and ran over to a water dispenser round the corner from the main desk.’
      • ‘Why hop around the world for something when it might be round the corner?’
      • ‘He had a studio round the corner called Biograph, and I went for a job with him as a runner.’
    2. 3.2So as to hit (something) in passing.
      ‘if he didn't shut up he might get a clip round the ear’
      • ‘Alternatively - as my wife has just reminded me with a firm clip round the ear - Michel could just leave her chest as God intended and find someone to love her as she is.’
      • ‘He is in dire need of a pretty good clip round the ear.’
      • ‘Eventually Conan wrestled Clarence to the ground and boxed him round the ears, making Clarence's head swim.’
  • 4So as to cover or take in the whole area of (a place)

    ‘she went round the house and saw that all the windows were barred’
    • ‘It's a bit like listening to a pre-recorded guide through headsets on the way round a museum.’
    • ‘Looking blearily round the room for my alarm clock, I finally focus on the glowing green numbers on the nightstand.’
    • ‘She walked aimlessly round the room, keeping a wide circle about him, not knowing what she was looking for.’
    • ‘She has to drive him round the countryside and keep him happy.’
    • ‘Sometimes they come in busloads and make it upstairs for a cup of tea before being personally guided round the garden or through the museum.’
    • ‘Certainly, as British imperial influence spread round the world in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, so too did British aesthetics.’
    • ‘When I travelled round Australia it was to schools mainly.’
    • ‘Every time Katy left her with him, she'd head straight for the back room, then wander round the house with a puzzled unhappy look on her face.’
    • ‘Alex ran round the house looking for his shoes.’
    • ‘Another thing which she had not done for some time, Wendy realized as she rattled round the empty house on Saturday morning, was try out Pete's latest composing aid.’
    • ‘Some of us have gone round Britain speaking at meetings to get solidarity.’
    • ‘However I am immensely relieved to see that they are well-behaved and have a guide taking them round the gallery.’
    • ‘Kari was working for her mom, showing a newly wed couple round a few houses in downtown San Diego.’
    • ‘He started sleepwalking and shuffled round the house at night.’
    • ‘He chased me round and round the place with a clasp knife.’
    • ‘"We were hopeful when we were going round Walcot canvassing, " he said.’
    • ‘They spoke a little to each other and then the lady took Lord Arnor's arm and they gazed round the company on the boat together.’
    • ‘He gestured round the tiny kitchen where they had sat and breakfasted together each day for all those months.’
    • ‘Ever switched on the radio and found yourself dancing round the house?’
    • ‘Matthew followed her gaze round the restaurant before meeting her eyes.’
    throughout, all over, here and there in, everywhere in
    throughout, all over, here and there in, everywhere in
    View synonyms


  • 1Pass and go round (something) so as to move on in a changed direction.

    ‘the ship rounded the cape and sailed north’
    • ‘As we rounded a curve, a truck weaved halfway into our lane.’
    • ‘Johnson wrapped the game up when he beat the offside trap and rounded the keeper.’
    • ‘Jack and Angela rounded the corner three blocks away from their houses.’
    • ‘Another group of policemen round a corner to find a car alarm blaring and a window smashed, with the cause of the mayhem nowhere to be found.’
    • ‘Then the carriage began to move, and he lost sight of her as they rounded a bend.’
    • ‘The older couple glanced at them all, then proceeded down the corridor, rounding the corner as they walked to the elevators.’
    • ‘A moment later, the vehicle appeared, rounding a curve up ahead.’
    • ‘She moved through an office door and rounded the corner to the employee lounge.’
    • ‘Through the kitchen door, I see her round the bottom of the stairs and lean against the banister.’
    • ‘He dribbled past three French players, before rounding the goalkeeper to score.’
    • ‘‘Remember if you need anything, just ask Christa,’ he called to Jared before rounding the house.’
    • ‘We rounded the curve, and the corridor came to an abrupt halt.’
    • ‘They passed the great papyrus swamps the next day and rounded the point which marked the edge of the Canopus mouth of the Nile.’
    • ‘As I rounded yet another bend in the road, the wind picked up.’
    • ‘He looked up at Emily, who was now rounding the table towards him.’
    • ‘Turning to the street, he saw another cab rounding the corner.’
    • ‘The soldiers rounded the corner and stopped in front of the party.’
    • ‘There was something willowy in the way she swung her slender hips the slightest bit as she rounded a table.’
    • ‘By the end of the third day, the ship had rounded the cape.’
    • ‘They rounded a bend and saw pale light at the end of the vent.’
    go round, move round, travel round, sail round, circumnavigate
    View synonyms
  • 2Alter (a number) to one less exact but more convenient for calculations.

    ‘we'll round the weight up to the nearest kilo’
    ‘the committee rounded down the figure’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In writing down the score, all scores are divided by 10 with fractions rounded down.’
    • ‘Converting to inches and rounding up, footing dimensions of 14 X 14 inches will be adequate.’
    • ‘Oracle wants customers to multiply the number of processors cores in a system by .75 and then round up to the next whole number regardless of the fraction.’
    • ‘We rounded down, so the worst loss is also the net loss.’
    • ‘Round the result to the nearest 10 points (numbers ending in 5 are rounded upwards).’
    • ‘What pure scientific purpose is served by rounding the number up to 100,000?’
    • ‘It was prespecified that stock market figures would be rounded up or down as appropriate.’
    • ‘Thus, using this value is a bit like rounding off your own weight to the nearest hundred pounds.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 3Give a round shape to.

    ‘a lathe that rounded chair legs’
    • ‘To deepen the stretch, slowly extend arms and round spine forward, letting the weight of the torso fall forward.’
    1. 3.1[no object]Become circular in shape.
      ‘her eyes rounded in dismay’
      • ‘‘What do you mean?’ she asked, her blue eyes, rounding in question.’
      • ‘I muttered under my breath, my almond shaped eyes rounding to replicate saucers.’
    2. 3.2Phonetics Pronounce (a vowel) with the lips narrowed and protruded.
      ‘the actor's uneven attempt to round the vowels of his midwestern twang’
      • ‘She speaks very fast, with a Spanish accent that rounds her vowels.’
      • ‘Most Australians can achieve this accent by ‘rounding the vowels’ and concentrating on speaking ‘properly’.’
      • ‘If he rounds his vowels a bit more his accent will drop.’


Are round and around (as preposition and adverbial particle) interchangeable in all contexts? In many contexts in British English they are, as in she put her arm round him; she put her arm around him. There is, however, a general preference for round to be used for definite, specific movement (she turned round; a bus came round the corner), while around tends to be used in contexts which are less definite (she wandered around for ages; costing around £3,000) or for abstract uses (a rumour circulating around the cocktail bars). In US English the situation is different. The normal form in most contexts is around; round is generally regarded as informal or non-standard and is only standard in certain fixed expressions, as in all year round and they went round and round in circles.


  • go the round (or rounds)

    • (of a story or joke) be passed on from person to person.

      ‘some odd stories about her were going the rounds’
      • ‘I'd like to know because it was certainly a story that went the rounds among schoolboys in my day.’
      • ‘However if only half of what is going the rounds right now has even a semblance of credence to it then it would seem that there are problems to be ironed out.’
      • ‘The latest Churchill story going the rounds has to do with a stuffy young Foreign Office secretary who had the job of ‘vetting’ the then Prime Minister's magnificent speeches.’
      • ‘There was, inevitably, a lot of gossip going the rounds, mostly amongst the wives.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘However, a rumour went the rounds in November 1870 that he had recently married.’
      • ‘There was another story going the rounds, concerning Don Venus.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘However, there are also contrary rumors going the rounds.’
      • ‘The stories of intimidation and straightforward fraud are still going the rounds.’
      spread, be passed around, get around, go the rounds
      View synonyms
  • in the round

    • 1(of sculpture) standing free with all sides shown, rather than carved in relief against a ground.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Also carved in the round is a seated female figure just over one inch in height.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They are not sculpture in the round, but the pieces can be viewed from either side.’
      • ‘The turn from relief to sculpture in the round led to radical changes in his work.’
      1. 1.1Fully and thoroughly; with all aspects shown.
        ‘to understand social phenomena one must see them in the round’
        • ‘The adjudicator must look at all of the material in the round and see whether he is persuaded of the claim.’
        • ‘The governments in the past have not had much of an appetite for dealing with things in the round.’
        • ‘When taken in the round, then, it is clear that the case for small farms is a strong one, and must be made loudly and persistently if the rural economy is to change for the better.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘However, the person's conduct must also be considered in context and in the round.’
        • ‘Taken in the round, this project has shown that sustainable farming really can work, even in the most hostile conditions.’
        • ‘The question of exceptional circumstances must therefore be considered in the round.’
        • ‘All the evidence should have been looked at in the round.’
        • ‘His worldly-wise, amused, delicately cynical narrators observe characters in the round, identifying qualities that edify but which are muddied by foibles, peccadilloes, and, once in a while, mortal sins.’
        • ‘But where there is any element of ambiguity the inquiry must look at all relevant facts and circumstances in the round.’
    • 2(of a theatrical performance) with the audience placed on at least three sides of the stage.

      • ‘Played in the round and without an interval, it is harrowing but it is also a totally engrossing piece of theatre.’
      • ‘Theatre in the round, opera in the park and lunchtime concerts in the workplace are all examples of venues that can transform and regenerate the whole experience of performance.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This show would be fun when seated in the round, in a smaller space, with a drink in hand.’
      • ‘The opera will be performed in the round, in two acts with an hour-long interval to allow for picnics on the lawn or a stroll through the gardens of the Georgian mansion.’
      • ‘The director presented one of the few instances in my life where theatre in the round has succeeded.’
      • ‘Because of the vagaries of Irish weather the opera is performed in a five hundred-seater marquee with a central stage, making it opera in the round.’
      • ‘Like most plays, it loses by being presented in the round.’
      • ‘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’
      • ‘Some of the ballets were designed to be danced in the round, and that is incredible training for a dancer.’
  • round about

    • 1On all sides or in all directions.

      ‘everything round about was covered with snow’
      • ‘They have set up night schools in villages round about to offer education suitable for rural life, rather than the alien curriculum offered by official schools.’
      • ‘Pray, Mrs. Tremlett, do you know any thing about the factory people that work in all these great ugly buildings round about Ashleigh?’
      • ‘Besides these, there are the urban and suburban wanderers, or those who follow some itinerant occupation in and round about the large towns.’
      • ‘Alternatively, the hill forts may have been community storage facilities for grain and livestock, a trading centre, and perhaps a ritual focus, with the important people living round about.’
      • ‘Outside the Asian school, waiting to pick up the consul's children, he feels the street go still, the shops round about go dead.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He promptly erected an altar from the stones round about, then dedicated the fat, entrails and head of the stag to Artemis and burned the animal as a holocaust.’
      • ‘Now they are crowded round about us, trying to get a grandstand view.’
      • ‘Already he could clearly discern the treetops round about him; but it was in vain that his eye sought the view of the old brown church tower and the weather-worn roofs.’
    • 2At a point or time approximately equal to.

      ‘they arrived round about nine’
      ‘compasses were first added to sundials round about the end of the fourteenth century’
      • ‘On their third dive, round about 3pm, they headed off together and were last spotted swimming calmly 12m down.’
      • ‘I set the hotel clock to wake us up round about 7 ‘o’ clock.’
      • ‘If you take a trip down to Cornwall round about now you'll find that many of the county's resorts and tourist attractions, far from suffering a foot and mouth-induced tourist drain, are flourishing.’
      • ‘Bringing in round about $2m annually, tourism has contributed the most to the economy's scant prosperity.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The telephone rang at round about half-past three in the morning.’
      • ‘If any such deal is in the offing, expect it round about the time shareholders need an extra boost.’
      • ‘It was round about this time that Haydn was able to see some of his works which he praised highly, citing the young composer as an ‘outstanding talent’.’
      • ‘We're also getting a significant amount of money from industry, probably round about the same as the government's putting in, $20-million or so.’
      • ‘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.’
      approximately, about, around, roughly, in the neighbourhood of, in the area of, of the order of, just about, something like, more or less, as near as dammit to, close to, near to, practically
      or so, or thereabouts, there or thereabouts, give or take a few, plus or minus a few, give or take a bit, in round numbers
      not far off, nearly, almost, approaching
      getting on for
      in the ballpark of
      View synonyms
      1. 2.1Approximately.
        ‘we raised round about half a million dollars’
        ‘round about 10,000 homes were affected’
        • ‘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 amount the government spends on the NHS is round about two-thirds of that in France and Germany and half of what the USA spends, as a percentage of our national income.’
        • ‘The backlog of claims, I think, is down to round about 10,000.’
        • ‘By comparison for example, the hydrocarbon business is growing at round about 2% per annum.’
        • ‘They have been made what we think is a generous offer, round about a ten per cent increase in pay over two years.’
        • ‘Only round about seven per cent of those who have horses or have access to horses ride to hounds.’
        • ‘He replied that the Government was increasing investment "by round about half-a-billion pounds over the next few years".’
        • ‘The budget that the Commissioner manages is round about £2.5 billion.’
        • ‘The total area is probably about 30,000 square miles and the total population round about 200,000.’
        • ‘Bringing in round about $2m annually, tourism has contributed the most to the economy's prosperity.’
        • ‘Round about 1.35 million sheep were exported or moved during the month of February.’
        • ‘The limiting factor is clearly the interface but at round about 1GB per minute, the transfer speed is reasonable.’
        roughly, about, around, just about, or so, or thereabouts, more or less, in the neighbourhood of, in the region of, in the area of, in the vicinity of, of the order of, something like, in round numbers, rounded down, rounded up
        View synonyms
  • round the bend

    • see bend
      mad, insane, out of one's mind, deranged, demented, not in one's right mind, certifiable, of unsound mind, crazed, lunatic, unbalanced, unhinged, unstable, disturbed, frenzied, raving, distraught, mad as a hatter, mad as a march hare
      View synonyms
  • round the twist

    • informal Out of one's mind; crazy.

      ‘the games she plays drive me round the twist’
      • ‘The noise is 24/7 which I think would drive any of us completely round the twist.’
      • ‘In fact it may well be into 2005 before we see it all ending, and by then a lot of people are very likely to have gone round the twist.’
      • ‘In ‘real life’, you see, keeping his feelings quiet is driving him round the twist.’
      • ‘I'm at my wit's end… and thinking that I'm going slightly round the twist.’
      • ‘No doubt the constant bleating eventually sends them round the twist.’
      • ‘Alf also taped the voice of his ghost to prove to neighbours he had not gone round the twist.’
      • ‘I have finally finished the report that's been driving me round the twist for the past month or so.’
      • ‘And, dear reader, it's that ‘almost’ that will drive you slowly round the twist.’
      • ‘As well as maintaining that searching for a reason can drive one round the twist, the colourful Charlie has revealed through his writings that sometimes he feels like an alien ‘in this strange world ’.’
      • ‘The first time it was quite funny; the second time it was okay; but after 20 times it was frankly driving me round the twist.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • round something off

    • 1Make the edges or corners of something smooth.

      ‘round off the spars with a soft plastic fitting’
      • ‘The square edges will be rounded off to prevent further damage to the wall.’
      • ‘Serrations on the rear of the sight blade reduce glare, and the blade edges have been rounded off.’
      • ‘The sharp edges, corners and points have been rounded off and smoothed away.’
      • ‘The triggerguards were rounded off, and both the forward edge of the guards and the grip areas were stippled to give a surface that's tacky to the hand but allows fabric to slide over smoothly.’
      • ‘One nice thing about this case is that all of the edges are rounded off, you'd be hard pressed to find a place where you could cut yourself without really trying.’
      • ‘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.’
      smooth off, plane off, sand off, level off
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Complete something in a satisfying or suitable way.
        ‘a pint at the pub will round off the day nicely’
        • ‘The evening was rounded off by some lovely string music.’
        • ‘The fun gets under way at 3pm and will run on till 9pm when the day will be rounded off with a disco.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘Afterwards members enjoyed a round of golf and the evening was rounded off with refreshments in the clubhouse afterwards.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘Often the tour is rounded off at the souvenir/tuck shop, getting those essential presents to bring home.’
        • ‘I rounded the meal off with a cup of really excellent, fragrant coffee - refilled without me having to ask.’
        • ‘After a highly enjoyable day sightseeing, we decided to round things off with a pub meal before going home.’
        • ‘I have a glass of excellent ‘house’ Chardonnay - fruity and smooth - to accompany the meal, and round it off with the peach schnapps trifle, which proves to have a real kick.’
        • ‘Both these puddings turned out to be a superb way of rounding the meal off.’
        complete, finish off, crown, cap, top off, conclude, close, bring to a close, bring to a end, end
        View synonyms
  • round on

    • Make a sudden verbal attack on.

      ‘she rounded on me angrily’
      • ‘I was dismayed to hear the bishops rounding on the First Minister last week for speaking in support of the idea.’
      • ‘Stevens said he had been drinking and saw someone push or punch his then girlfriend and when he saw her rounding on Mr Owen he joined in.’
      • ‘In any case, the government's reaction - hysterically rounding on the Opposition - seems inexplicable.’
      • ‘At the meeting other councillor rounded on dog owners for not being responsible and discussed the matter of faeces.’
      • ‘My mother once rounded on me for saying something would be ‘such a bore’.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Instead, he preferred to highlight the positive aspects of the game, often rounding on criticism of the domestic game that appeared in print.’
      • ‘‘You're not even supposed to be driving,’ she snapped, rounding on him.’
      • ‘He kicked-started the campaign by rounding on opponents of the single currency.’
      snap at, attack, turn on, set upon, weigh into, fly at, let fly at, lash out at, hit out at, lambaste
      bite someone's head off, jump down someone's throat, lay into, wade into, lace into, pitch into, tear into
      have a go at
      light into
      View synonyms
  • round something out

    • Make something more complete.

      ‘his father insisted he went to university to round out his education’
      • ‘The supplements are rounded out by a trailer and TV spot.’
      • ‘Even a short post-script with thoughts on Lincoln's legacy would have rounded the book out nicely.’
      • ‘I missed out on a couple of the facts I'd learnt last night, which would have been good to throw in to round things out.’
      • ‘The meatless concoctions were rounded out by lentil salad and yellow split peas cooked with turmeric, ginger and onions.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘To round things out, add a delicious fall salad and scrumptious pumpkin cheesecake.’
      • ‘If you have a full-bodied soup - that is, one that is thick with vegetables and rice or pasta and a bit of meat - you have a meal, which only needs some crusty whole grain bread to round it out.’
      • ‘There's also a subtle humour to the film that rounds it out nicely.’
      • ‘I learned as a teenager that if I wanted to lie convincingly and successfully, I had only to believe the lie fervently enough, to round it out in my mind with all attendant details, to give it a primary reality.’
      • ‘The waiter did mention that this stew-like dish wasn't served with any accompaniment, and although it was satisfying I sort of missed rice or potatoes to round it out.’
      expand, enlarge, add to, round out, elaborate, add detail to, add substance to, flesh out, add flesh to, put flesh on the bones of
      View synonyms
  • round someone/thing up

    • 1Drive or collect a number of people or animals together for a particular purpose.

      ‘in the afternoon the cows are rounded up for milking’
      • ‘Texas cowboys watched over cattle, branded them, and rounded them up before herding them to markets first in New Orleans and by the 1850s northward to Missouri and beyond.’
      • ‘Eventually the ghetto is closed and the remaining inhabitants are rounded up and crammed onto livestock carriages bound for the camps.’
      • ‘The animals will be rounded up and sold at auction.’
      • ‘Entire families will be rounded up to settle political scores or personal grudges.’
      • ‘I know monkeys and animals are rounded up or bred away from their natural habitats and countries for experiments in the pursuit of profit.’
      • ‘Througout the day, a total of one hundred horses were rounded up.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘What if they have been rounded up, to be sold as slaves?’
      • ‘Dogs are banned from streets, parks and other public places and if seen outside, they will be rounded up and killed.’
      • ‘The neighbourhood could get together to identify the resident cats and any strays could be rounded up and turned over to the S.P.C.A.’
      gather together, herd together, drive together, bring together, muster, marshal, rally, assemble, collect, group
      corral, wrangle
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Arrest a number of people.
        ‘the secret police rounded up the group’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘At least five suspects have been rounded up but it is still not clear who is responsible.’
        • ‘There were dramatic pictures that came out of there, of the police rounding these people up.’
        • ‘Though the police has not shown their arrest in official records, however, sources in the police claimed that the suspects have been rounded up for their involvement in some other criminal cases.’
        • ‘The 24 other suspects were rounded up after his interrogation.’
        • ‘According to an Associated Press report, about 100 people had been rounded up, with some of the raids directly involving CIA and FBI agents.’
        • ‘Dozens of riot police rounded them up and put them in vans.’
        • ‘The usual suspects were rounded up, with no result.’
        • ‘Several dozen suspects had been rounded up since the weekend.’
        • ‘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.’
        gather together, herd together, drive together, bring together, muster, marshal, rally, assemble, collect, group
        corral, wrangle
        View synonyms


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