American English

Definition of about preposition from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1on the subject of someone or something; in connection with someone or something a book about flowers Tell me all about it. What's she so angry about? There's something strange about him. I don't know what you're talking about. There's nothing you can do about it now.
  2. 2used to describe the purpose or an aspect of something Movies are all about making money these days. What was all that about? (= what was the reason for what has just happened?)
  3. 3busy with something; doing something Everywhere people were going about their daily business.
  4. 4in many directions or parts of a place; here and there synonym around We wandered about the town for an hour or so. The papers were strewn about the room.
  5. 5next to a place or person; in the area mentioned synonym around She's somewhere about the office.
  6. 6(literary) surrounding someone or something She wore a shawl about her shoulders.
  7. Language Bankaboutsaying what a text is about The book is about homeless people in the cities. The report deals with the issue of homelessness in urban areas. The writer discusses the problems faced by homeless people. The article presents an overview of the issues surrounding homelessness. The novel explores the theme of friendship among homeless people. The first chapter examines the relationship between homelessness and drug addiction. The paper considers the question of why so many young people become homeless.Idioms
      how/what about…?
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    1. 1used when asking for information about someone or something How about Ruth? Have you heard from her? I'm having fish. What about you?
    2. 2used to make a suggestion How about we go for a walk? What about a break?
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: about