• Pronunciation: \ə-ˈbat\
  • Function: adverb
  • Etymology: Middle English, from Old English abūtan, from 1a- + būtan outside — more at but
  • Date: before 12th century
  • 1 a : reasonably close to <about a year ago> b : almost <about starved> c : on the verge of —usually used with be and a following infinitive <is about to join the army> —used with a negative to express intention or determination <not about to quit>
    2 : on all sides : around
    3 a : in rotation b : around the outside
    4 : here and there
    5 : in the vicinity : near
    6 : in the opposite direction <face about> <the other way about>


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