What does the idiom "out and about" mean?

The expression out and about is one of the idioms that often finds a place in our literature and enriches our language. However, its meaning is not fully understood, so it is sometimes used in the wrong situations. Please review the explanation carefully for the correct use of the out and about idiom.

Meaning of "out and about"


The idiom ‘out and about’ is used to describe a person who is out of the house and actively engaging in activities or tasks. It suggests a person is active and has an overall sense of purpose.


The exact origin of the phrase “out and about” is unknown. It is thought that it might have been adapted from an older phrase, “out and about the town” which was used to describe people who were active and engaged in social life and activities. This original phrase was likely derived from the middle English phrase “out of the town”, which was used to describe someone who was out of their house and proceeding to visit other places such as a marketplace.


The phrase “out and about” can be used to refer to a wide variety of activities and locations. It is most commonly used to refer to those who are engaging in social activities, recreational activities, or leisurely activities. It can also be used to refer to those who are working outside of their homes, such as those who are visiting other places of business or engaging in activities related to their work.

Example Sentences

  • I've been out and about all day long, trying to get my errands done.
  • The kids have been out and about for hours and I'm ready for them to come home.
  • John's been out and about, so I'm not sure when he will be back.
  • My neighbor is always out and about, so I'm not sure when he'll have time for a chat.

The meanings of the words in the "out and about" idiom

The universal role of idioms

"Kill two birds with one stone" is an English idiom that means to accomplish two things with a single action. In French, the similar idiom is "Faire d'une pierre deux coups," which translates to "To kill two birds with one stone." This idiom highlights the efficiency of completing two tasks with one action.


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