been around


in a circle, ring, or the like; so as to surround a person, group, thing, etc.: The crowd gathered around.
on all sides; about: His land is fenced all around.
in all directions from a center or point of reference: He owns the land for miles around.
in a region or area neighboring a place: all the country around.
in circumference: The tree was 40 inches around.
in a circular or rounded course: to fly around and around.
through a sequence or series, as of places or persons: to show someone around.
through a recurring period, as of time, especially to the present or a particular time: when spring rolls around again.
by a circuitous or roundabout course: The driveway to the house goes around past the stables.
to a place or point, as by a circuit or circuitous course: to get around into the navigable channel.
with a rotating course or movement: The wheels turned around.
in or to another or opposite direction, course, opinion, etc.: Sit still and don't turn around. After our arguments, she finally came around.
back into consciousness: The smelling salts brought her around.
in circulation, action, etc.; about: He hasn't been around lately. The play has been around for years. When will she be up and around?
somewhere near or about; nearby: I'll be around if you need me.
to a specific place: He came around to see me.
about; on all sides; encircling; encompassing: a halo around his head.
so as to encircle, surround, or envelop: to tie paper around a package.
on the edge, border, or outer part of: a skirt with fringe around the bottom.
from place to place in; about: to get around town.
in all or various directions from: to look around one.
in the vicinity of: the country around Boston.
approximately; about: It's around five o'clock.
here and there in: There are many cafés around the city.
somewhere in or near: to stay around the house.
to all or various parts of: to wander around the country.
so as to make a circuit about or partial circuit to the other side of: to go around the lake; to sail around a cape.
reached by making a turn or partial circuit about: the church around the corner.
so as to revolve or rotate about a center or axis: the earth's motion around its axis.
personally close to: Only the few advisers around the party leader understood his real motives.
so as to get by a difficulty: They got around the lack of chairs by sitting on the floor.
so as to have a foundation in: The novel is built around a little-known historical event.
been around, having had much worldly experience: He's been around and isn't likely to be taken in.

1250–1300; Middle English around(e). See a-1, round Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
around (əˈraʊnd)
1.  situated at various points in: a lot of shelves around the house
2.  from place to place in: driving around Ireland
3.  somewhere in or near: to stay around the house
4.  approximately in: it happened around 1957, I think
5.  surrounding, encircling, or enclosing: a band around her head
6.  in all directions from a point of reference: he owns the land for ten miles around
7.  in the vicinity, esp restlessly but idly: to wait around; stand around
8.  here and there; in no particular place or direction: dotted around
9.  informal (of people) active and prominent in a particular area or profession: some pop stars are around for only a few years
10.  informal present in some place (the exact location being inexact): he's around here somewhere
11.  informal in circulation; available: that type of phone has been around for some years now
12.  informal to many places, so as to have gained considerable experience, often of a worldly or social nature: he gets around; I've been around
usage  In American English, around is usually used instead of round in adverbial and prepositional senses, except in a few fixed phrases such as all year round. The use of around in adverbial senses is less common in British English

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, from phrase on round. Rare before 1600. In sense of "here and there with no fixed direction" it is 1776, Amer.Eng. (properly about). Of time, from 1888. To have been around "gained worldly experience" is from 1927, U.S. colloquial.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

been around

Been present or active; especially, gained experience or sophistication. For example, This book isn't new; it's been around for many years, or This strategy won't fool Bill; he's been around. [First half of 1900s] Also see get around.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Idioms & Phrases
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