Meaning of “about” in the English Dictionary

"about" in English

See all translations

aboutpreposition

uk /əˈbaʊt/ 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 (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?)

aboutadverb

uk /əˈbaʊt/ 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 (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.

aboutadjective

uk /əˈbaʊt/ us /əˈbaʊt/

(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 specific number; approximately:

He’s about six feet tall.
It happened about two months ago.
I’ve had just about enough of your complaining (= I do not want to hear any more).

aboutadjective [ + to infinitive; not gradable ]

us /əˈbɑʊt/

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

almost ready 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)