PIE word
PIE word

From Middle English ther-aboute, ther-abouten (of a place or an object: around there, in its vicinity; surrounding it; nearby, neighbouring; here and there, throughout that place; of an action, matter, etc.: about, concerning; of an amount or distance: approximately, more or less; of time: about then, around that time) [and other forms],[1] from Old English þǣr-ābūtan, þǣr-onbūtan, from þǣr (there) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *só (this; that) + *-r) + abūtan, onbūtan (about; round about; on; on the outside) (from on- (prefix meaning ‘on; upon; there; thither; to’) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *h₂en- (on; onto)) + būtan (just, merely, only) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *h₁ep- + *úd (away; out; outwards; upwards))). The English word is analysable as there + about.[2]

The word is attested earlier than thereabouts.



thereabout (not comparable)

  1. About or near that place.
    Synonym: thereabouts
  2. About or around that date or time.
    Synonym: thereabouts
    Dinner will be ready at six-thirty or thereabout.
  3. About or near to that condition or quality.
    Synonym: thereabouts
  4. Approximately that number or quantity.
    Synonym: thereabouts
    The speed of light is 186,000 miles per second, right? Yes, thereabout.
  5. (obsolete)
    1. About that; concerning that.
      Synonyms: thereabouts, (Scotland) thereanent
    2. (figuratively) Near to that activity or situation.
      Synonym: thereabouts


See alsoEdit

Here-, there-, and where- words