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by the Wiktionnary

Rank of this word in the English language, from analyzing texts from Project Gutenberg.
man upon may #71: about its time only

Old English onbūtan, from on + būtan (outside).


  1. Around; all round; outside or on every side of.
    • If thou beest not immortal look about you. - Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, II-iii
    • Bind them about thy neck. - Proverbs 3:3
  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. - Exodus 9:18
    • She is about my height. - Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona, IV-iv
    • He went out about the third hour. - Matthew 20:3
    Note: This use passes into the adverbial sense.
  5. In concern with; engaged in; intent on.
    • I must be about my Father's business. - Luke 2:49
  6. (Before a verbal noun or an infinitive): On the point or verge of; going; in act of.
    • Paul was now about to open his mouth. - Acts 18:14
  7. Concerning; with regard to; on account of; touching.
    • To treat about thy ransom. - Milton
    • She must have her way about Sarah. - Trollope

Definition from Wiktionary
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