\ə-ˈrau̇nd \

Definition of around 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : in a circle or in circumference The wheel goes around. a tree five feet around

b : in, along, or through a circuit The road goes around by the lake.

2a : on all or various sides : in every or any direction papers lying around There was nothing for miles around.

b : in close from all sides so as to surround People crowded around.

c : in or near one's present place or situation We had to wait around awhile.

3a : here and there : from one place to another She travels around on business.

b : to a particular place You should come around for dinner.

c used with some verbs to indicate repeated or continued action He's always joking around when he should be serious.Don't play around with your food.

4a : in rotation or succession Another winter has come around.

b : from beginning to end : through The weather is mild the year around.

c : in order the other way around

5 : in or to an opposite direction or position turn around

6 : with some approach to exactness : approximately It costs around $5.



Definition of around (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : on all sides of a yard with a fence around it

b : so as to encircle or enclose seated around the table

c : so as to avoid or get past : on or to another side of trying to find a way around their objections We went around the lake. around the corner

d : near lives around Chicago around the turn of the century

2 : in all directions outward from Look around you.

3 : here and there in or throughout They went barnstorming around the country.

4 : so as to have a center or basis in a society organized around kinship ties



Definition of around (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : about sense 1 He has been up and around for two days.

2 : being in existence, evidence, or circulation … the most intelligent of the artists around today.— R. M. Coates

been around

: gone through many varied experiences : become worldly-wise He knows what he's talking about; he's been around.

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Synonyms & Antonyms for around

Synonyms: Adverb

about, approximately, like, more or less, much, near, plus or minus, roughly, say, some

Synonyms: Preposition

about, by, near, next to, nigh

Synonyms: Adjective

alive, existent, existing, extant, living

Antonyms: Adverb

exactly, precisely

Antonyms: Adjective

dead, extinct, nonextant

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Examples of around in a Sentence


Don't take the long way around: I know a shortcut. He entered the room and looked around. This is a very interesting town: let me show you around. I'm not sure where it is, but it must be around somewhere. It's safer when there are other people around. I'd like to speak to him if he's around.


The people were seated around the table. A crowd gathered around him. He tied the rope around his waist. We went all around the lake enjoying the different views. They sailed around the world. He's a well-known figure around the town. We drove all around the town looking for him. This is a very interesting town: let me show you around it. We took a tour around New England. You can find lots of good restaurants around here.


she's generally regarded as one of the most talented singers around
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Paula Knudson Ferbrache reportedly had left work around 2 p.m. and not returned home. Nicole Blanchard Michael Katz, idahostatesman, "Elmore County officials treating elderly woman’s death as ‘suspicious’," 26 Aug. 2017 Though the heyday of the seagull logo is long past, the teen apparel brand with the California vibe has charged back into the mix, trying to turn things around for its struggling parent, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. Kim Bhasin,, "How Hollister Came Back From The Dead," 25 Aug. 2017 The rings would change slightly each go around, explaining the irregularity. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "New Theory for "Alien Megastructure": A Planet Like Saturn, But Close To The Sun," 25 Aug. 2017 Like a lot of teens, Ian and Mason spent their free time playing video games, goofing around and indulging in copious amounts of Taco Bell and Wendy's fare. Donna Vickroy, Daily Southtown, "When autism, diabetes make a friendship stronger," 25 Aug. 2017 Best to go around 5pm, after the bartender has just set the trays of local honeys and lemons on the bar, which will then be mixed into pops and fizzes made with house made vodka and gin and served in vintage cocktail glasses. Condé Nast Traveler, "Ladies and Gentlemen," 25 Aug. 2017 The 700-pound reduction in weight along with a new four-cylinder engine help boost fuel economy, and the smaller size also makes Acadia easier to maneuver, especially around turns and corners. Emma Jayne Williams, star-telegram, "New GMC Acadia Denali version gives this SUV the royal treatment," 25 Aug. 2017 Females are able to store that sperm for about a month within their bodies before fertilizing a clutch of around 200 eggs. Joshua Rapp Learn, Smithsonian, "Whoa: Polygamous Wolf Spiders Have a Natural Form of Birth Control," 23 Aug. 2017 The incident happened around 6 p.m. last Thursday at the YMCA on YMCA Drive, which is off of W. C. Street in Kannapolis. charlotteobserver, "Teen injured in Kannapolis near-drowning remains hospitalized," 23 Aug. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition

Small diving plugs and crankbaits work well around floating vegetation. Mark Blythe,, "Central Florida fishing forecast: July 16," 15 July 2018 In addition to traveling exhibitions in partnership with other museums around the world, the new V&A promises permanent Scottish Design Galleries chronicling the country’s rich history of design from the 15th century to today. Todd Plummer, Vogue, "A Guide to Dundee, Scotland—the First City Outside London to Get Its Very Own V&A Museum," 14 July 2018 Giant hogweed originally grew in the Caucasus region but spread as it was introduced into botanical gardens around the world, according to the Virginia Invasive Species register. Sarah Klein,, "Giant Hogweed Sent This Virginia Teen to the Hospital. Here's What to Know About the Scary Plant That Can Burn Your Skin and Lead to Blindness," 13 July 2018 Press about 1 tablespoon of dough around each mint wafer, covering it completely. Judy Buchenot, Naperville Sun, "Suburban Cooks: Mints go from trash to treasured cookies," 13 July 2018 The line for build a bear goes all around the 2nd floor at Willow Grove Mall. Ellie Silverman,, "Parents, kids swarmed Build-A-Bear to pay as little as $1 for a stuffed animal. Then the stores closed," 12 July 2018 The lab employs about 1,800 people — including around 1,200 in Bar Harbor., "SoftBank raises stake in Yahoo Japan in purchase from Altaba," 11 July 2018 Taxpayers deserve answers about a guy no one had heard of before Pastor's photo started popping up on billboards all around town weeks before the November election. Jason Williams,, "PX column: Time's up for Jeff Pastor's campaign finance report. Is an investigation coming?," 11 July 2018 The fire broke out around 1:30 a.m. along state Route 94 near the southbound Interstate 15 off ramp, San Diego Fire-Rescue spokeswoman Mónica Muñoz said. City News Service,, "Small brush fire quickly doused," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The freshman captured the all-around title at the South Sectional with a score of 37.625, winning the vault (9.625) and uneven bars (9.55) in the process., "2017-18 Girls' Gymnastics All-Scholastics," 7 May 2018 The freshman captured the all-around title at the South Sectional with a score of 37.625, winning the vault (9.625) and uneven bars (9.55) in the process., "2017-18 Girls' Gymnastics All-Scholastics," 7 May 2018 The freshman captured the all-around title at the South Sectional with a score of 37.625, winning the vault (9.625) and uneven bars (9.55) in the process., "2017-18 Girls' Gymnastics All-Scholastics," 7 May 2018 The freshman captured the all-around title at the South Sectional with a score of 37.625, winning the vault (9.625) and uneven bars (9.55) in the process., "2017-18 Girls' Gymnastics All-Scholastics," 6 May 2018 Greenwich’s Adernys De Jesus was the top gymnast in the state, winning the all-around competition in the Open and taking the vault and bars titles, as well. Sean Begin,, "The 2017-18 All-Courant High School Gymnastics Team," 4 May 2018 The freshman captured the all-around title at the South Sectional with a score of 37.625, winning the vault (9.625) and uneven bars (9.55) in the process., "2017-18 Girls' Gymnastics All-Scholastics," 21 Apr. 2018 Top gymnasts are usually still in their teens: Gabby Douglas won the individual all-around title at the London Olympics at age 16 in 2012. Jen Kirby, Vox, "The sex abuse scandal surrounding USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, explained," 21 Apr. 2018 Lexi Graber won the all-around title with a career-best 39.575 score. Cheryl Wray,, "Alabama wins NCAA gymnastics regionals, advances with Georgia to championship," 7 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'around.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of around


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1849, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for around


Middle English, from a- entry 1 + round entry 2


see around entry 1


see around entry 1

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Statistics for around

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Time Traveler for around

The first known use of around was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for around



English Language Learners Definition of around

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: in a circle

: in, along, or through a curving path

—used to indicate a measurement that is made along the outer surface of something circular



English Language Learners Definition of around (Entry 2 of 3)

: on all sides of (something or someone)

: so as to circle or surround (something or someone) : moving so as to circle (something or someone)

: over or in different parts of (a place)



English Language Learners Definition of around (Entry 3 of 3)

: existing or active


\ə-ˈrau̇nd \

Kids Definition of around

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : in circumference The tree is five feet around.

2 : in or along a curving course The road goes around the lake.

3 : on all sides Papers were lying around.

4 : nearby Stay around a while.

5 : in close so as to surround People gathered around to see.

6 : in many different directions or places He likes to travel around from state to state.

7 : to each in turn Pass the candy around.

8 : in an opposite direction Turn around.

9 : almost but not exactly : approximately The price is around five dollars.



Kids Definition of around (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : in a curving path along the outside boundary of He walked around the house and peeked in the windows.

2 : on every side of A crowd gathered around the winner.

3 : on or to another side of around the corner

4 : here and there in She plans to travel around the country.

5 : near in number, time, or amount They left around three o'clock.

6 : in the area near to Fish are plentiful around the reefs.

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