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 formscir·cu·i·tous·ly, adverbcir·cu·i·tous·ness, nounnon·cir·cu·i·tous, adjectivenon·cir·cu·i·tous·ly, adverbnon·cir·cu·i·tous·ness, nounun·cir·cu·i·tous, adjectiveun·cir·cu·i·tous·ly, adverbun·cir·cu·i·tous·ness, noun

Synonyms for circuitous

circular, winding, indirect, meandering.

Antonyms for circuitous Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for circuitous

Contemporary Examples of circuitous

Historical Examples of circuitous

  • 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.

  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for circuitous



indirect and lengthy; roundabouta circuitous route
Derived Formscircuitously, adverbcircuitousness, 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

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