Difference Between Round and Around

Key Difference – Round vs. Around


Round and around are two words that can often be confusing. Both round and around have many meanings and can be used in various situations. The main confusion between the two words emerges when using the words to refer to circular motions or objects. It is important to bear in mind that most speakers use the words interchangeably, although most have their preferences. For instance, the British prefer round, while the Americans prefer around. The key difference between round and around is that while round can be used in many instances replacing the word around, the vice versa does not apply. Through this article let us examine these differences and also focus on the usage of the two words.

What is Round?

The word round has a myriad of meanings. It can be used as a noun, verb and also an adjective. Here is the list of meanings that can be generated with the word round.

Round can be used for a curved, or circular object.

I have heard so much about the King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table.

What is the round thing on your table?

Why don’t you give me a round number?

Notice how the word has been used as an adjective to describe something circular. In the third example, round is associated with numbers to express a number in convenient units rather than exactly.

Round can be used for different stages of a contest.

Who won the first round?

He performed well in all three rounds.

Round can be used to bring out the idea of unrestrained.

The young boy had a round thrashing for misbehavior.

Round refers to a series of events.

It was only after a round of meetings that they finally came to an agreement.

Round off is a verb used to refer to the completion of something.

Why don’t you round off the programme for today?

Difference Between Round and Around

Knights of the Round Table

What is Around?

Around can be used to generate the following meanings.

Around is used for circular movements.

We went around the city all day.

At the end of the dance, she spun around.

It can be used to refer to the existence of something on every side.

I saw flowers around the cottage.

There were many buildings around the hotel.

It is used for an approximate time, place, etc.

I will be there around nine.

It can be used when we want to talk about the presence or existence of someone.

I am sorry he is not around.

Didn’t you hear, she is no longer around.

It can be used to refer to the centre of activity, process, etc.

I am sorry, but we cannot make any amendments as the project is focused around the fishing village and people’s livelihood.

Around is used when referring to avoiding or passing something.

She managed to get around the issue somehow.

It brings out the idea of near something or close vicinity.

Can you wait around for a while?

She lives around here.

Key Difference - Round vs Around

She lives around here.

What is the difference between Round and Around?

Definitions of Round and Around:

Round: Round can be used to refer to a circular object, stages of a contest, series of events, unrestrained and for the completion of something.

Around: Around is used to refer to circular movements, near vicinity, approximately, avoidance, presence of a person, on every side and centre of activity.

Usage of Round and Around:

Grammatical Usage:

Round: Round can be used as an adjective, noun, verb, adverb and sometimes even as a preposition.

Around: Around is used as a preposition, adverb and adjective.


Round: Round is preferred by British speakers.

Around: Around is preferred by American speakers.


Image Courtesy:

1. “Holy-grail-round-table-bnf-ms fr-116F-f610v-15th-detail” by Evrard d’Espinques – Gallica. [Public Domain] via Commons

2. 1990-2000s Housing Estate – Chapman Road, Maidenbower Neighbourhood of Crawley, West Sussex – geograph.org.uk – 53777 By Pete Chapman [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons