- a roundabout or indirect way of speaking; the use of more words than necessary to express an idea.
- a roundabout expression.
Origin of circumlocution
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Related Wordseuphemism, diffuseness, wordiness, roundabout, prolixity, pleonasm, verbiage, indirectness, tautology, periphrasis, discursiveness, periphrase, verbality
Examples from the Web for circumlocution
All this is true, but the Circumlocution Office went beyond it.
Sometimes, angry spirits attacked the Circumlocution Office.
The Barnacle family had for some time helped to administer the Circumlocution Office.
I am glad to see you again, and in a healthier place than the Circumlocution Office.'
You are the levers of the Circumlocution Office, and the rulers of men.
- an indirect way of expressing something
- an indirect expression
Word Origin and History for circumlocution
c.1400, from Latin circumlocutionem (nominative circumlocutio) "a speaking around" (the topic), from circum- "around" (see circum-) + locutionem (nominative locutio) "a speaking," noun of action from past participle stem of loqui "to speak" (see locution). A loan-translation of Greek periphrasis (see periphrasis).
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.”