Pronunciation: (u-bout'),[key] —prep. 1. of; concerning; in regard to: instructions about the work; a book about the Civil War. 2. connected or associated with: There was an air of mystery about him. 3. near; close to: a man about my height; about six o'clock. 4. in or somewhere near: He is about the house. 5. on every side of; around: the railing about the excavation. 6. on or near (one's person): They lost all they had about them. 7. so as to be of use to: Keep your wits about you. 8. on the verge or point of (usually fol. by an infinitive): about to leave. 9. here or there; in or on: to wander about the old castle. 10. concerned with; engaged in doing: Tell me what it's about. Bring me the other book while you're about it.
—adv. 1. near in time, number, degree, etc.; approximately: It's about five miles from here. 2. nearly; almost: Dinner is about ready. 3. nearby; not far off: He is somewhere about. 4. on every side; in every direction; around: Look about and see if you can find it. 5. halfway around; in the opposite direction: to turn a car about. 6. from one place to another; in this place or that: to move furniture about; important papers strewn about. 7. in rotation or succession; alternately: Turn about is fair play. 8. in circumference: a wheel two inches about. 9. Naut. a. onto a new tack.
b. onto a new course.
—adj. 1. moving around; astir: He was up and about while the rest of us still slept. 2. in existence; current; prevalent: Chicken pox is about.