- about [ə bout′]adv.[ME aboute(n) < OE onbūtan, around < on, ON + be, BY + ūtan, outside < ūt, OUT: all senses develop from the sense of “around”]1. on every side; all around [look about]2. here and there; in all directions [travel about]3. in circumference; around the outside [ten miles about]4. near [standing somewhere about]5. in the opposite direction; to a reversed position [turn it about]6. in succession or rotation [play fair — turn and turn about]7. nearly; approximately [about four years old]8. Informal all but; almost [about ready]adj.1. astir; on the move [he is up and about again]2. in the vicinity; prevalent [typhoid is about]3.a) ready; likely immediately: followed by an infinitive [I was about to speak]b) willing or inclined: used with not and an infinitive [I'm not about to exercise regularly]: Used only in the predicateprep.1. around; on all sides of2. here and there in; everywhere in [rambling about the town]3. near to in time or space [born about 1960, keeping my keys about me]4. concerned with; attending to [go about your business]5. on the subject of; concerning [a book about ships]6. in connection with; pertaining to [the most interesting thing about her]——————be what something is all aboutInformal to be the true purpose of or reason for something
English World dictionary. V. Neufeldt. 2014.