• synonyms


  1. roundabout; not direct: a circuitous route; a circuitous argument.
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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


circular, winding, indirect, meandering.


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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.

    History Of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Volume IV. (of XXI.)

    Thomas Carlyle

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for circuitously


  1. indirect and lengthy; roundabouta circuitous route
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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 circuitously



1660s, from Medieval Latin circuitous "full of roundabout ways," from Latin circuitus "a going round" (see circuit (n.)). Related: Circuitously; circuitousness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper