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[ser-kyoo-i-tuh s] /sərˈkyu ɪ təs/
roundabout; not direct:
a circuitous route; a circuitous argument.
Origin of circuitous
1655-65; < Medieval Latin circuitōsus, equivalent to circuit(us) circuit + -ōsus -ous
Related forms
circuitously, adverb
circuitousness, noun
noncircuitous, adjective
noncircuitously, adverb
noncircuitousness, noun
uncircuitous, adjective
uncircuitously, adverb
uncircuitousness, noun
circular, winding, indirect, meandering.
straight, direct. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for circuitous
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Taking a circuitous route, he at last reached a sort of little inn.

    A Nest of Spies Pierre Souvestre
  • Henry led the horse round by a circuitous way back to the path.

    Rollo in Switzerland Jacob Abbott
  • It seems a circuitous way; but it may prove a way nevertheless.

    Past and Present Thomas Carlyle
  • The lateness of the hour compelled her to take a circuitous route to London.

    Lover or Friend

    Rosa Nouchette Carey
  • The ledge could only be reached by a circuitous route three miles away.

    The Three Partners Bret Harte
British Dictionary definitions for circuitous


indirect and lengthy; roundabout: a circuitous route
Derived Forms
circuitously, adverb
circuitousness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for circuitous

1660s, from Medieval Latin circuitous "full of roundabout ways," from Latin circuitus "a going round" (see circuit (n.)). Related: Circuitously; circuitousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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