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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 circuitously
Historical Examples
  • I often wish the Devil had the lion's share of them,—at once, and not circuitously as now.

  • But no matter in what direction they started, circuitously they always found their way into the field of main preoccupation.

    The Soul of a Child Edwin Bjorkman
  • Boyle did not apply directly to Bentley, but circuitously, by his bookseller, with whom the doctor was not on terms.

  • Shortly after, a beautiful Musk-rat was observed to leave the cabin of the chief, and to approach them circuitously.

  • The path, growing narrower, wound on circuitously through the woods, between slender serried trunks twined with ivy.

    The Reef Edith Wharton
  • I have heard all that he hath already done in my behoof, Warrenton—the item was brought to me circuitously.

    Robin Hood Paul Creswick
  • Mr. Garthwaite opened it, and led me along a shrubbery path, which conducted us circuitously to the dwelling-house.

    After Dark Wilkie Collins
  • So he rambled on, and went past the house, and took the field-path which would lead him circuitously home again.

    New Grub Street George Gissing
  • Loose stones and ragged points formed the flooring of this passage, which rapidly and circuitously ascended.

    Edgar Huntley Charles Brockden Brown
  • This once established, we see with Carnot that it is indifferent whether the mechanical laws are broken directly or circuitously.

British Dictionary definitions for circuitously


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 circuitously



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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