c.1290, from Anglo-Fr. rounde, O.Fr. roont, probably originally *redond, from V.L. *retundus (cf. Prov. redon, Sp. redondo, O.It. ritondo), from L. rotundus "like a wheel, circular, round," related to rota "wheel" (see rotary
). The O.Fr. word is the source of M.Du. ront (Du.
rond), M.H.G. runt (Ger. rund) and similar Gmc. words. In many uses it is an aphetic form of around. First record of round trip is from 1860. Round number is 1646, from earlier sense of "full, complete" (1340, sense of symmetry extended to that of completeness); roundhouse (1589) is from Du. rondhuis "guardhouse." King Arthur's Round Table is attested from c.1300, from O.Fr. table ronde (1155, in Wace's Roman de Brut). Roundhead "adherent of Parliamentary party in the English Civil War" (1641) is from their custom of wearing the hair close-cropped, in contrast to the flowing curls of the cavaliers. Round heels attested from 1926, in ref. to incompetent boxers, 1927 in ref. to loose women, in either case implying an inability to avoid ending up flat on one's back.
early 14c., "a spherical body," from round
(adj.) (cf. Du. rond, Dan., Swed. rund, Ger. runde, all n. from adj.). Meaning "large round piece of beef" is recorded from 1650s. Theatrical sense (in phrase in the round) is recorded from 1944. Sense of "circuit performed by a sentinel"
is from 1598; that of "recurring course of time" is from 1710. Meaning "song sung by two or more, beginning at different times" is from 1520s. Golfing sense attested from 1775. Meaning "quantity of liquor served to a company at one time" is from 1630s; that of "single bout in a fight or boxing match" is from 1812; "single discharge of a firearm" is from 1725. Sense of "recurring session of meetings or negotiations" is from 1964.
late 14c., "to make round," from round
(adj.). Meaning "to approximate a number" is from 1934. Round up "to collect in a mass" is from 1615; specifically of livestock from 1847; round-up (n.) "cattle drive" is from 1873;