about definition, meaning - what is about in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “about”

See all translations

about

preposition uk   us   /əˈbaʊt/

about preposition (CONNECTED WITH)

A1 on the subject of, or connected with: What's that book about? a film about the Spanish Civil War We were talking/laughing about Sophie. He's always (going) on about what a great job he's got. I'm worried about David. I really don't know what all the fuss is about. I wish you'd do something about (= take action to solve the problem of) your bedroom - it's a real mess.UK informal Could you make me a coffee too while you're about it (= while you are making one for yourself)? What didn't you like about the play? There's something about her attitude that worries me. There's something special about him (= in his character). "Is that your car?" "Yes, what about it?" (= Why are you asking me?)
More examples

about preposition (NO ORDER)

mainly UK (US usually around) positioned around a place, often without a clear purpose or order: Their belongings were flung about the room.

about preposition (POSITION)

UK formal in a particular place: Do you have such a thing as a pen about you/your person? (= Do you have a pen?)

about

adverb uk   us   /əˈbaʊt/

about adverb (APPROXIMATELY)

A1 a little more or less than the stated number or amount: about six feet tall about two months ago "What time are you leaving work today?" "About five."
More examples

about adverb (ALMOST)

almost: We're about ready to leave. Well, I think that's about it for now (= we have almost finished what we are doing for the present).

about adverb (ALL DIRECTIONS)

B2 mainly UK (US usually around) in many different directions: They heard someone moving about outside. I've been running about all morning trying to find you.

about adverb (NO ORDER)

B2 mainly UK (US usually around) positioned around a place, often without a clear purpose or order: She always leaves her clothes lying about on the floor.

about adverb (PLACE)

mainly UK (US usually around) in or near a place: Is John about (= somewhere near)? There's a lot of flu about (= many people have it) at the moment.

about

adjective uk   us   /əˈbaʊt/

about adjective (INTENDING)

be about to do sth
More examples
B1 to be going to do something very soon: I was about to leave when Mark arrived. She looked as if she was about to cry.
(Definition of about from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of about?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “about” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

disappear off the face of the earth

to disappear completely

Word of the Day

The language of elections

by Liz Walter,
April 22, 2015
On May 7th, citizens of the UK will be going to the polls (having an election) to decide who will form the next government. This kind of election is known as a general election. The country is divided into 650 areas, called constituencies. Each constituency elects a member of parliament (MP) to

Read More 

dumbwalking noun

April 20, 2015
walking slowly, without paying attention to the world around you because you are consulting a smartphone He told me dumbwalking probably wouldn’t be a long-term problem.

Read More