a. The act of pivoting to face in the opposite direction from the original, especially in a military formation.
b. A military command to turn clockwise 180°.
2. A total change of attitude or viewpoint.
intr.v. a·bout-faced, a·bout-fac·ing, a·bout-fac·es
To reverse direction.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.