Definition of walkabout in English:



  • 1British An informal stroll among a crowd conducted by an important visitor.

    ‘the prime minister went on an impromptu walkabout’
    • ‘On a walkabout in Brent East, he accused Mr Blair of insulting the intelligence of electors by warning that voting Lib Dem would produce a Tory government.’
    • ‘On his way to Napier today for a lunchtime walkabout Dr Brash said the vandalism ‘showed how far standards had slipped in the education system under Labour’.’
    • ‘He failed to show up for a scheduled walkabout at the London Stock Exchange this week, leaving half a dozen of his candidates to get drenched by a thunderstorm.’
    • ‘After the service the Queen and Duke went on a walkabout in the castle grounds and chatted to the large crowd of well-wishers.’
    • ‘He did recover his composure and went on an hour-long walkabout with the Leicester Square crowds, signing autographs and chatting on mobile phones in customary fashion.’
    • ‘Former US President Bill Clinton stunned shoppers with an impromptu walkabout yesterday, after enjoying a Yorkshire pub lunch.’
    • ‘But the glamorous trio still made time for a half-hour walkabout to greet the 4,000 screaming fans who had packed Leicester Square.’
    • ‘The 28-year-old star gave the 2,000-strong crowd a treat with a five-minute walkabout before the screening of Gangs of New York.’
    • ‘But security concerns are paramount and there was no question of a royal walkabout in Nigeria's teeming slums.’
    • ‘There will be no ceremonial drive down the Mall with the Queen, no Lord Mayor's Banquet at the Guildhall, no walkabouts to meet the people.’
    • ‘The Queen Mother was someone who made sure her people came first, and officials had a job keeping her away from unofficial walkabouts.’
    • ‘Earlier, more than 20,000 people welcomed the royal couple to a shopping mall in Solihull as they staged an impromptu walkabout.’
    • ‘Not for him the public walkabouts among adoring throngs that marked Bill Clinton's jovial foreign jaunts.’
    • ‘The traditional walkabout saw the Fine Gael leader mix and mingle with the locals with consummate ease.’
    • ‘At countless walkabouts, official openings, celebrations and her own garden parties, she has demonstrated that she is as friendly as she is regal.’
    • ‘She laughed and joked with well-wishers during a walkabout after signing a charter to mark the official launch of the city's new super-university.’
    • ‘By noon the prince will be meeting residents, schoolchildren and groups on a traditional royal walkabout.’
    • ‘William Hague was right about one thing: reality bites - but even he has started cancelling his walkabouts.’
    • ‘The prime minister has been embarking on a hectic schedule of overseas trips, summits, policy initiatives, walkabouts and social engagements.’
    • ‘They will attend a service at the Minster before taking a walkabout along Duncombe Place to the Assembly Rooms, where the couple will see a special exhibition about York's history.’
  • 2Australian A journey (originally on foot) undertaken by an Australian Aboriginal in order to live in the traditional manner.

    • ‘There was walkabout land with food, a billabong.’
    • ‘Their journey coincides with that of an Aborigine boy on his walkabout - a 10-day ritual where boys are left to fend for themselves, an event that initiates their entrance into adulthood.’
    • ‘Lavanya was thrilled to meet and interact with them - she talks about stolen generations, displacement, lost souls, land issues, heritage, dreamtimes and walkabouts.’
    • ‘On the way, they are helped by an aboriginal boy on his walkabout.’
    • ‘One of the key attractions for many international visitors is the romance and mystique attached to Aboriginal culture, dreamtimes and walkabouts, learning a little more about the oldest civilization in the world.’
    visit, inspection, guided tour, walk round, survey, ramble
    View synonyms


  • go walkabout

    • 1Wander around from place to place in a protracted or leisurely way.

      ‘I thought I'd just go walkabout and see what I can dig up’
      ‘he's gone walkabout for reasons of his own’
      • ‘I've adopted the use of a small kitchen timer, set at forty minutes, to save me from sitting too long hunched over the manuscript and, when it pings, I put my pencil down, get up, stretch, and go walkabout.’
      • ‘Soprano Sarah Crane and baritone Shaun Brown join forces with pianist Bernadette Groot as they go walkabout with songs of travel, dreaming, love and seeking high adventure.’
      • ‘But in recent years, other chunks of the service industry have gone walkabout, as telecommunications costs have collapsed.’
      • ‘After a concert in Los Angeles, he went walkabout and was found beaten up in a gutter.’
      • ‘When Mano Negra imploded, Chao went walkabout with a guitar and a tape recorder and, in 1998, the fruits of his efforts appeared as Clandestino.’
      • ‘They also tend to go mental walkabout when they feel they have done enough to win the game.’
      • ‘If he wasn't trying to dig an escape tunnel, he was going walkabout after finding an open gate in the house's garden.’
      • ‘Well, he told me there is a problem with crayfish, they go walkabout.’
      • ‘I've lived in the same house for 10 years now and I'm still redelivering mail to neighbours, wondering as I go walkabout who has received mine and what they may do with it.’
      • ‘Then he was dropped by the Roosters to Premier League for going walkabout and missing training.’
    • 2(of an Australian Aboriginal) journey into the bush in order to live in the traditional manner.

      • ‘So they go walkabout with the Aborigine for what must be months but, just like the characters, we are unable to gauge time.’
      • ‘Even today aborigines in the outback habitually go walkabout to experience what they call the ‘songlines’, singing the old songs and tunes and thereby continuing the very essence of creation.’
      • ‘At 16 make all children go walkabout in the Bush learning traditional skills and to do without modern technology for a year.’