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English definition of “about”

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about

preposition uk   /əˈbaʊt/ us  

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?)
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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   /əˈbaʊt/ us  

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."
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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   /əˈbaʊt/ us  

about adjective (INTENDING)

be about to do sth
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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)
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