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circumlocution

[ sur-kuhm-loh-kyoo-shuhn ]
/ ˌsɜr kəm loʊˈkyu ʃən /
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See synonyms for: circumlocution / circumlocutionary / circumlocutory on Thesaurus.com

noun

a roundabout or indirect way of speaking; the use of more words than necessary to express an idea.
a roundabout expression.

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Origin of circumlocution

1375–1425; late Middle English <Latin circumlocūtiōn- (stem of circumlocūtiō). See circum-, locution
cir·cum·loc·u·to·ry [sur-kuhm-lok-yuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee], /ˌsɜr kəmˈlɒk yəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, cir·cum·lo·cu·tion·al, cir·cum·lo·cu·tion·ar·y, adjectiveun·cir·cum·loc·u·to·ry, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for circumlocution

circumlocution
/ (ˌsɜːkəmləˈkjuːʃən) /

noun

an indirect way of expressing something
an indirect expression
circumlocutory (ˌsɜːkəmˈlɒkjʊtərɪ, -trɪ), adjective
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

Cultural definitions for circumlocution

circumlocution
[ (sur-kuhm-loh-kyooh-shuhn) ]

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.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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