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2017 Word of the Year

circumstantiality

[sur-kuh m-stan-shee-al-i-tee] /ˌsɜr kəmˌstæn ʃiˈæl ɪ ti/
noun, plural circumstantialities for 2, 3.
1.
the quality of being circumstantial; minuteness; fullness of detail.
2.
a circumstance; a detail.
3.
Psychiatry. a pattern of speech that seems to wander because of excessive detail but eventuallyreaches its goal idea.
Origin of circumstantiality
1725-1735
First recorded in 1725-35; circumstantial + -ity
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for circumstantiality
Historical Examples
  • There seemed no flaw in the evidence, once granted its circumstantiality.

  • Also he had upheld his lies with a striking narrative of circumstantiality.

  • The circumstantiality of the account was equally horrible and amusing.

    Pencillings by the Way N. Parker Willis
  • The circumstantiality of his tale excited curiosity, and inclined his contemporaries to belief.

  • With what circumstantiality could they recall old law cases; describe old duels, old political animosities and excitements!

    Plantation Reminiscences

    Letitia M. Burwell
  • Obviously intentional, too, for the circumstantiality excluded the idea of a mistake.

    The Uttermost Farthing R. Austin Freeman
  • It cannot be denied, however, that the circumstantiality of the story gave a handle to the Quarterly's theory.

  • The account of the conception and birth of Servius Tullius is curious from its circumstantiality.

  • With what circumstantiality could they recall old law cases, and describe old duels, old political animosities and excitements!

  • His story has none of the circumstantiality of an actual occurrence; his statements are as indefinite as the agents were shadowy.

circumstantiality in Medicine

circumstantiality cir·cum·stan·ti·al·i·ty (sûr'kəm-stān'shē-āl'ĭ-tē)
n.
A disturbance in the thought process by detail that is often tangential and irrelevant.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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