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90s Slang You Should Know


[sur-kuh m-vent, sur-kuh m-vent] /ˌsɜr kəmˈvɛnt, ˈsɜr kəmˌvɛnt/
verb (used with object)
to go around or bypass:
to circumvent the lake; to circumvent the real issues.
to avoid (defeat, failure, unpleasantness, etc.) by artfulness or deception; avoid by anticipating or outwitting:
He circumvented capture by anticipating their movements.
to surround or encompass, as by stratagem; entrap:
to circumvent a body of enemy troops.
Origin of circumvent
1545-55; < Latin circumventus (past participle of circumvenīre to come around, surround, oppress, defraud), equivalent to circum- circum- + ven(īre) to come + -tus past participle suffix
Related forms
circumventer, circumventor, noun
circumvention, noun
circumventive, adjective
uncircumvented, adjective
2. escape, elude, evade, outwit. 3. encircle; ensnare. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for circumvented
Historical Examples
  • I took the darker side of the road along the woods until I arrived close to the premises, and I circumvented the place.

  • These notaries now advise as to the best way the law may be circumvented.

  • If it be true, he stands alone in the history of teachers; he has circumvented fate, he has left an unmixed blessing behind him.

    Emerson and Other Essays John Jay Chapman
  • To be circumvented by cunning must ever be the fate, but never the disgrace, of the artless.'

  • The inspector he regarded as a natural enemy, who was to be circumvented by much guile.

    Auld Licht Idylls J. M. Barrie
  • Guards and patrols could be evaded, or circumvented, but the hounds could not.

  • Baited, circumvented, driven mad like the snared lion, Valour had to sink extinguished under vindictive Chicane.

    The French Revolution Thomas Carlyle
  • Peter had circumvented him by marrying Lucy; the time had arrived for him to overcome Peter.

    Barbara Lynn Emily J. Jenkinson
  • It circumvented them all, was planted and grown, and finally became a commodity of much value and a medium of exchange.

    The Old Furniture Book N. Hudson Moore
  • For these love to consult, the other (fearing to be circumvented,) to strike first.

    Leviathan Thomas Hobbes
British Dictionary definitions for circumvented


verb (transitive)
to evade or go around
to outwit
to encircle (an enemy) so as to intercept or capture
Derived Forms
circumventer, circumventor, noun
circumvention, noun
circumventive, adjective
Word Origin
C15: from Latin circumvenīre, from circum- + venīre to come
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 circumvented



mid-15c., "to surround by hostile stratagem," from Latin circumventus, past participle of circumvenire "to get around, be around, encircle, surround," in figurative sense "to oppress, assail, cheat," from circum "around" (see circum-) + venire "to come" (see venue). Meaning "to go round" is from 1840. Related: Circumvented; circumventing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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