around, round
1. In general, BrE prefers round and AmE prefers around, both as an adverb and as a preposition, except in certain more or less fixed expressions or restricted collocations. In BrE it is usual to say all the year round, Winter comes round, The wheels go round, Send the book round, Show me round, whereas in all these cases AmE would normally use around.
2. Around is obligatory in fixed expressions such as fool around, mess around, sit around, etc, all around (as in All around there are signs of decay), and to have been around. In some of these, about is also possible, but not round.
3. BrE still tends to prefer about as a preposition meaning ‘approximately’, although around is also used (e.g. There are about/around 100 in all / Come about/around 4 o'clock), whereas AmE generally prefers around. See about.
4. However, the distribution of around and round is subject to considerable variation in practice, as the following examples show: (around as preposition)

• Jesse…moped around the house all day —Lee Smith, AmE 1983

• The area around Waterloo —R. Elms, BrE 1988

• They stood grouped around their luggage —M. Bracewell, BrE 1989

• (round as preposition)

• A map rolled up round a broom handle —Jeanette Winterson, BrE 1985

• He looked round the table as if daring anyone to smile —David Lodge, 1988

• (around as adverb) Stay around till she gets back —New Yorker, AmE 1989

• Hartmann's sunny…attitude was marvellous to have around —Anita Brookner, BrE 1988

• The devices have been around a while —USA Today, AmE 1988

• I went around to the front door —New Yorker, AmE 1989

• (round as adverb) In the end she talked me round —Nina Bawden, BrE 1987

• The news had gotten round pretty fast —New Yorker, AmE 1998.

Modern English usage. 2014.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • around — [ə round′] adv. [ME < a , on + ROUND1: all senses derive from those of “circling, within a circle”] 1. round; esp., a) in a circle; along a circular course or circumference b) in or through a course or circuit, as from one place to another c)… …   English World dictionary

  • Around — A*round , prep. 1. On all sides of; encircling; encompassing; so as to make the circuit of; about. [1913 Webster] A lambent flame arose, which gently spread Around his brows. Dryden. [1913 Webster] 2. From one part to another of; at random… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Around — Album par AAA Sortie 19 septembre 2007 Durée 50:05 Genre …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Around — A*round , adv. [Pref. a + round.] 1. In a circle; circularly; on every side; round. [1913 Webster] 2. In a circuit; here and there within the surrounding space; all about; as, to travel around from town to town. [1913 Webster] 3. Near; in the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • around — (adv.) c.1300, in circumference, from phrase on round. Rare before 1600. In sense of here and there with no fixed direction it is 1776, American English (properly about). Of time, from 1888. To have been around gained worldly experience is from… …   Etymology dictionary

  • around — [adv1] situated on sides, circumference, or in general area about, all over, any which way, encompassing, everywhere, in the vicinity, in this area, neighboring, over, throughout; concept 581 around [adv2] close to a place about, almost,… …   New thesaurus

  • around — ► ADVERB 1) located or situated on every side. 2) so as to face in the opposite direction. 3) in or to many places throughout a locality. 4) here and there. 5) available or present. 6) approximately. ► PREPOSITION …   English terms dictionary

  • around — [[t]əra͟ʊnd[/t]] ♦ (Around is an adverb and a preposition. In British English, the word round is often used instead. Around is often used with verbs of movement, such as walk and drive , and also in phrasal verbs such as get around and hand… …   English dictionary

  • around — a|round W1S1 [əˈraund] adv, prep 1.) surrounding or on all sides of something or someone British Equivalent: round ▪ The whole family was sitting around the dinner table. ▪ The Romans built a defensive wall around the city. ▪ She wore a beautiful …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • around — a|round [ ə raund ] function word *** Around can be used in the following ways: as a preposition (followed by a noun): We walked around the old town. as an adverb (without a following noun): She turned around and smiled at me. (after the verb to… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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