in a circle, ring, or the like; so as to surround a person, group, thing, etc.:
The crowd gathered around.
on all sides; about:
His land is fenced all around.
in all directions from a center or point of reference:
He owns the land for miles around.
in a region or area neighboring a place:
all the country around.
in circumference:
The tree was 40 inches around.
in a circular or rounded course:
to fly around and around.
through a sequence or series, as of places or persons:
to show someone around.
through a recurring period, as of time, especially to the present or a particular time:
when spring rolls around again.
by a circuitous or roundabout course:
The driveway to the house goes around past the stables.
to a place or point, as by a circuit or circuitous course:
to get around into the navigable channel.
with a rotating course or movement:
The wheels turned around.
in or to another or opposite direction, course, opinion, etc.:
Sit still and don’t turn around. After our arguments, she finally came around.
back into consciousness:
The smelling salts brought her around.
in circulation, action, etc.; about:
He hasn’t been around lately. The play has been around for years. When will she be up and around?
somewhere near or about; nearby:
I’ll be around if you need me.
to a specific place:
He came around to see me.
about; on all sides; encircling; encompassing:
a halo around his head.
so as to encircle, surround, or envelop:
to tie paper around a package.
on the edge, border, or outer part of:
a skirt with fringe around the bottom.
from place to place in; about:
to get around town.
in all or various directions from:
to look around one.
in the vicinity of:
the country around Boston.
approximately; about:
It’s around five o’clock.
here and there in:
There are many cafés around the city.
somewhere in or near:
to stay around the house.
to all or various parts of:
to wander around the country.
so as to make a circuit about or partial circuit to the other side of:
to go around the lake; to sail around a cape.
reached by making a turn or partial circuit about:
the church around the corner.
so as to revolve or rotate about a center or axis:
the earth’s motion around its axis.
personally close to:
Only the few advisers around the party leader understood his real motives.
so as to get by a difficulty:
They got around the lack of chairs by sitting on the floor.
so as to have a foundation in:
The novel is built around a little-known historical event.
been around, having had much worldly experience:
He’s been around and isn’t likely to be taken in.
Contemporary Examples

Bullets were splashing all around his feet, and then one hit him.
Ty Carter Awarded Medal of Honor David Eisler, Jake Tapper August 30, 2013

Capital Cities, “Kangaroo Court” This song has been around for a few weeks, but this video takes it to a whole new level.
From Katy Perry to Alice in Chains, the Best Music Videos of the Week Victoria Kezra September 6, 2013

In national polls, opposition to cutting the national pension plan ranges from around 64 percent to about 78 percent (PDF).
Perry’s Entitlement Problem Andrew Romano August 11, 2011

Neolithic humans lived in the caves pocking its slopes, and by around 1400 BCE a fortified palace was built atop the Acropolis.
Virgin Sacrifice and the Meaning of the Parthenon Nick Romeo February 11, 2014

Like, OK, to be around them when we were away from work is great, but being at work was still kind of strange for me.
How A Company’s Support of Gay Employees Helped One of Them To Come Out December 23, 2014

Historical Examples

I’m willin’; but I’m not goin’ around by the back door to miss that feller.
The Duke Of Chimney Butte G. W. Ogden

He led her, unresisting, around to the couch at the other side of the table.
The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson

And all the while, my thinking section was going around and around.
Highways in Hiding George Oliver Smith

There was good feed all around, but we could not, from the darkness, find any water.
Explorations in Australia John Forrest

I rather liked him bein’ a little ticklish about goin’ around with me for a while.
Humorous Ghost Stories Dorothy Scarborough

situated at various points in: a lot of shelves around the house
from place to place in: driving around Ireland
somewhere in or near: to stay around the house
approximately in: it happened around 1957, I think
surrounding, encircling, or enclosing: a band around her head
in all directions from a point of reference: he owns the land for ten miles around
in the vicinity, esp restlessly but idly: to wait around, stand around
here and there; in no particular place or direction: dotted around
(informal) (of people) active and prominent in a particular area or profession: some pop stars are around for only a few years
(informal) present in some place (the exact location being inexact): he’s around here somewhere
(informal) in circulation; available: that type of phone has been around for some years now
(informal) to many places, so as to have gained considerable experience, often of a worldly or social nature: he gets around, I’ve been around

c.1300, “in circumference,” from phrase on round. Rare before 1600. In sense of “here and there with no fixed direction” it is 1776, American English (properly about). Of time, from 1888. To have been around “gained worldly experience” is from 1927, U.S. colloquial.


The subject is not naive, but is experienced and clever: He may look innocent, but he’s been around/ Having been around the block, Sylvia not only writes stories but dispenses advice/ Oliver’s been around the block and won’t be seduced by money ( first variant 1920s+, second variant 1990s+)

around the bend
around the corner

also see:

beat about (around) the bush
been around
boss someone around
bring around
cast about (around)
come around
enough to go around
every time one turns around
fool around
fuck around
full circle (what goes around comes around)
get around
get around to
go around in circles
hang around
horse around
kick around
kid around
knock about (around)
know one’s way around
mess around
nose about (around)
pal around with
play around
poke around
push around
rally around
roll around
run around in circles
run around like a chicken
run around with
run rings around
screw around
scrounge around
shop around
sleep around
stick around
talk around
tear around
throw one’s weight around
turn around
twist around one’s finger
up and about (around)

also see under:


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