about Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Meaning of “about” in the English Dictionary

"about" in British English

See all translations

aboutpreposition

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 ​greatjob 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)yourbedroom - it's a ​realmess.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 somethingspecial about him (= in his ​character). "Is that ​yourcar?" "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 ​clearpurpose or ​order: Their ​belongings were ​flung about the ​room.

about preposition (POSITION)

UK formal in a ​particularplace: Do you have such a thing as a ​pen about you/​yourperson? (= Do you have a ​pen?)

aboutadverb

uk   us   /əˈbaʊt/

about adverb (APPROXIMATELY)

A1 a little more or less than the ​statednumber or ​amount: about six ​feettall about two ​months ago "What ​time are you ​leavingwork 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 ​almostfinished 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 ​morningtrying to ​find you.

about adverb (NO ORDER)

B2 mainly UK (US usually around) positioned around a ​place, often without a ​clearpurpose or ​order: She always ​leaves her ​clotheslying 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.

aboutadjective

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 ​Markarrived. She ​looked as if she was about to ​cry.
(Definition of about from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"about" in American English

See all translations

aboutpreposition

 us   /əˈbɑʊt/

about preposition (CONNECTED WITH)

on the ​subject of; ​connected with: "What’s that ​book about?" "It’s about the Civil War." I don’t ​know what all the ​fuss is about. There’s something about her ​attitude that ​worries me.

aboutadverb [not gradable]

 us   /əˈbɑʊt/

about adverb [not gradable] (APPROXIMATELY)

a little more or less than a ​specificnumber; ​approximately: He’s about six ​feettall. It ​happened about two ​months ago. I’ve had just about enough of ​yourcomplaining (= I do not ​want to ​hear any more).

aboutadjective [+ to infinitive; not gradable]

 us   /əˈbɑʊt/

about adjective [+ to infinitive; not gradable] (INTENDING)

almostready to do something, or ​intending to do something ​soon: He ​looked as if he was about to ​burst into ​tears. I’m not about to ​apologize to him.

aboutpreposition, adjective, adverb [not gradable]

 us   /əˈbɑʊt/ (also around)

about preposition, adjective, adverb [not gradable] (IN THIS PLACE)

positioned or ​moving in or near a ​place: Reporters ​stood about, ​waiting for more ​news.
(Definition of about from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of about?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website
Word of the Day
coeducational

having male and female students being taught together in the same school or college rather than separately

Word of the Day