- a roundabout or indirect way of speaking; the use of more words than necessary to express an idea.
- a roundabout expression.
Origin of circumlocution
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for circumlocutionary
Ted cried, when my father, with some circumlocutionary hesitancy and great delicacy, conveyed his decision to our factotum.The Record of Nicholas Freydon
A. J. (Alec John) Dawson
- an indirect way of expressing something
- an indirect expression
Word Origin and History for circumlocutionary
c.1400, from Latin circumlocutionem (nominative circumlocutio) "a speaking around" (the topic), from circum- "around" (see circum-) + locutionem (nominative locutio) "a speaking," noun of action from past participle stem of loqui "to speak" (see locution). A loan-translation of Greek periphrasis (see periphrasis).
Roundabout speech or writing: “The driveway was not unlike that military training device known as an obstacle course” is a circumlocution for “The driveway resembled an obstacle course.” Circumlocution comes from Latin words meaning “speaking around.”