around

1 of 3

adverb

1
a
: 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.
2
a
: 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.
3
a
: 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.
4
a
: 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.

around

2 of 3

preposition

1
a
: 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

around

3 of 3

adjective

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

Example Sentences

Adverb 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. Preposition 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. Adjective she's generally regarded as one of the most talented singers around See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Adverb
This sounded like a lie, the kind of excuse that kids use on their parents, not the other way around. Clare Sestanovich, The New Yorker, 23 Jan. 2023 Digital payment methods have been around for a number of years, though experts say the pandemic has accelerated the trend towards more tipping. Haleluya Hadero, oregonlive, 23 Jan. 2023 Digital payment methods have been around for a number of years, though experts say the pandemic has accelerated the trend towards more tipping. Haleluya Hadero, Fortune, 23 Jan. 2023 This means higher production costs for poultry and eggs will be around for a while longer. Sal Gilbertie, Forbes, 23 Jan. 2023 The concept of online banking has been around for a few decades now, but SoFi Technologies (Nasdaq: SOFI) is going about it a little differently. Dallas News, 22 Jan. 2023 That was a warm-up for his aggressive approach this time around. Jon Freeman, Rolling Stone, 21 Jan. 2023 What was the most unusual process this time around? Bryan Reesman, Billboard, 20 Jan. 2023 As long as Boyd is around, the Bengals will gladly appreciate being the Kings of the North. Mohammad Ahmad, cleveland, 20 Jan. 2023
Preposition
The southeastern half of Arkansas is predicted to have sustained gusts of winds around 20 to 30 mph and gusts as strong as 40 mph, the weather service said. Remington Miller, Arkansas Online, 24 Jan. 2023 For all the questions around Jackson and their offense, the Ravens came out of 2022 feeling fine about their defensive future. Childs Walker, Baltimore Sun, 24 Jan. 2023 Using city maps, researchers randomly drew rectangles around areas that matched the garden's footprint. Jake Frederico, The Arizona Republic, 24 Jan. 2023 Some are developmental prospects and others are slated to join coach Tyrone Marshall's FC Cincinnati 2 side, but the bulk of the first-team conversation is going to center around veteran Alec Kann and rising, second-year star Roman Celentano. Cincinnati Enquirer, The Enquirer, 24 Jan. 2023 Kansas Senator Chase Blasi introduced a bill last week that would try to do an end run around the state Supreme Court. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 24 Jan. 2023 But growing up in Nigeria in the 1980s and 1990s, where mainstream education around indigenous beliefs was not common, Okelarin says his journey as an artist has been about deconstructing previous knowledge. Lamide Akintobi, CNN, 24 Jan. 2023 But, Buchanan said, the early political sniping around the issue threatens to make any meaningful overhaul impossible. Tony Romm, Anchorage Daily News, 24 Jan. 2023 There’s suddenly a lot of noise around Edward Berger’s WWI epic, All Quiet on the Western Front. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 Jan. 2023
Adjective
Mules guard Chico Strash, who had a game-high 13 points, was one of nine Alamo Heights players to score in a balanced, all-around effort. Luke Lawhorn, San Antonio Express-News, 24 Jan. 2023 Auburn’s gymnastics program is also fresh off its best season in program history, led by coach Jeff Graba and Olympic all-around gold medalist Suni Lee. Tom Green | Tgreen@al.com, al, 17 May 2022 Angelina Melnikova of Russia, the 2020 Olympic all-around bronze medalist, won the event to claim the first gold medal of the championships. baltimoresun.com, 21 Oct. 2021 Sunisa Lee, the Olympic all-around champion as of last week, will also compete in balance beam. Zoe Haylock, Vulture, 2 Aug. 2021 But Olympic all-around champions are really famous. Rachel Blount, Star Tribune, 31 July 2021 The idea of the Olympic all-around champion following through on a college commitment, though, would have been almost unthinkable until now. Louise Radnofsky, WSJ, 30 July 2021 Biles was the reigning world and Olympic all-around champion. Callie Caplan, Dallas News, 29 July 2021 Biles is the reigning Olympic all-around champion, but won’t be defending her title after admitting to struggling mentally with the pressures of competing in Tokyo. Alice Park, Time, 28 July 2021 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Adverb

Middle English arounde, a round "along the margin, on all sides," from a- a- entry 1 + round, rounde round entry 3

Preposition

Middle English, derivative of around around entry 1

Adjective

derivative of around entry 1

First Known Use

Adverb

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

Preposition

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

Adjective

1849, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near around

Cite this Entry

“Around.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/around. Accessed 6 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

around

1 of 2 adverb
1
: in circumference
a tree five feet around
2
: in or along a curving path
3
: on all sides
papers lying around
4
: nearby
stick around a while
5
: here and there in various places
travel around
6
: to each in turn
pass the fruit around
7
: from beginning to end
mild the year around
8
: in or to an opposite direction or position
turn around
9
: close to : approximately
costs around $20

around

2 of 2 preposition
1
a
: on all sides of
were fields around the village
b
: so as to encircle or enclose
people seated around the table
c
: on or to another side of
voyage around Cape Horn
d
: near to
lives around Chicago
2
: here and there in or throughout
travel around the country

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