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1

about

play
adverb \ə-ˈbau̇t\

Simple Definition of about

  • : almost or nearly

  • —used to indicate that a number, amount, time, etc., is not exact or certain

  • : very close to doing something

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of about

  1. 1 a :  reasonably close to <about a year ago> b :  almost <about starved> c :  on the verge of —usually used with be and a following infinitive <is about to join the army> —used with a negative to express intention or determination <not about to quit>

  2. 2 :  on all sides :  around

  3. 3 a :  in rotation b :  around the outside

  4. 4 :  here and there

  5. 5 :  in the vicinity :  near

  6. 6 :  in the opposite direction <face about> <the other way about>

Examples of about in a sentence

  1. We're about ready to go.

  2. This one is about as bad as that one.

  3. That's about all I know at this point.

  4. It's about time to go.

  5. That's about all the time we have.

  6. We tried just about everything we could think of.



Origin and Etymology of about

Middle English, from Old English abūtan, from 1a- + būtan outside — more at but


First Known Use: before 12th century


2

about

preposition

Simple Definition of about

  • —used to indicate the object of a thought, feeling, or action

  • —used to indicate the subject of something said or written

  • : as part of (someone or something)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of about

  1. 1 :  in a circle around :  on every side of :  around

  2. 2 a :  in the immediate neighborhood of :  near b :  on or near the person of c :  in the makeup of <a mature wisdom about him> d :  at the command of <has his wits about him>

  3. 3 :  engaged in <act as if they know what they're about — T. S. Matthews>

  4. 4 a :  with regard to :  concerning <spoke about his past> b :  concerned with c :  fundamentally concerned with or directed toward <poker is about money — David Mamet>

  5. 5 :  over or in different parts of

Examples of about in a sentence

  1. <a poignant story about a young man who goes off to war>

  2. <about the hedge there was a picket fence>



Before 12th Century

First Known Use of about

before 12th century


3

about

adjective

Definition of about

  1. 1 :  moving from place to place; specifically :  being out of bed

  2. 2 :  around 2



1815

First Known Use of about

1815


ABOUT Defined for Kids

1

about

play
adverb \ə-ˈbau̇t\

Definition of about for Students

  1. 1 :  almost, nearly <about an hour ago>

  2. 2 :  on all sides :  around <Bees were swarming about.>

  3. 3 :  in the opposite direction <The ship came about.>

  4. 4 :  on the verge of <I was about to call you.>




2

about

play
preposition

Definition of about for Students

  1. 1 :  having to do with <The story is about dogs.>

  2. 2 :  on every side of :  around <There are trees about the house.>

  3. 3 :  over or in different parts of <He traveled about the country.>

  4. 4 :  near or not far from in time <about the middle of the month>





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