A*bout" (#), prep. [OE. aboute, abouten, abuten; AS. abutan, onbutan; on + butan, which is from be by + utan outward, from ut out. See But, Out.]

1.

Around; all round; on every side of.

"Look about you." Shak. "Bind them about thy neck." Prov. iii. 3.

2.

In the immediate neighborhood of; in contiguity or proximity to; near, as to place; by or on (one's person).

"Have you much money about you?"

Bulwer.

3.

Over or upon different parts of; through or over in various directions; here and there in; to and fro in; throughout.

Lampoons . . . were handed about the coffeehouses. Macaulay.

Roving still about the world. Milton.

4.

Near; not far from; -- determining approximately time, size, quantity.

"To-morrow, about this time." Exod. ix. 18. "About my stature." Shak.

He went out about the third hour. Matt. xx. 3.

⇒ This use passes into the adverbial sense.

5.

In concern with; engaged in; intent on.

I must be about my Father's business. Luke ii. 49.

6. Before a verbal noun or an infinitive:

On the point or verge of; going; in act of.

Paul was now aboutto open his mouth. Acts xviii. 14.

7.

Concerning; with regard to; on account of; touching.

"To treat about thy ransom."

Milton.

She must have her way about Sarah. Trollope.

 

© Webster 1913.


A*bout", adv.

1.

On all sides; around.

'Tis time to look about. Shak.

2.

In circuit; circularly; by a circuitous way; around the outside; as, a mile about, and a third of a mile across.

3.

Here and there; around; in one place and another.

Wandering about from house to house. 1 Tim. v. 13.

4.

Nearly; approximately; with close correspondence, in quality, manner, degree, etc.; as, about as cold; about as high; -- also of quantity, number, time.

"There fell . . . about three thousand men."

Exod. xxii. 28.

5.

To a reserved position; half round; in the opposite direction; on the opposite tack; as, to face about; to turn one's self about.

To bring about, to cause to take place; to accomplish. -- To come about, to occur; to take place. See under Come. -- To go about, To set about, to undertake; to arrange; to prepare. "Shall we set about some revels? Shak. -- Round about, in every direction around.

 

© Webster 1913.

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