- 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 circumlocution on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for circumlocutory
Herbert has a circumlocutory manner over the phone which irritates me.Sight Unseen
Mary Roberts Rinehart
To come to the point, without any circumlocutory delay, I am a young man with aspirations far above my station in life.Ruth Hall
Allusions were made to it in a circumlocutory style: "The place you know—a certain street—at the bottom of the Bridges."Sentimental Education, Volume II
Certainly I was born under Cancer, and all my movements are circumlocutory, sideways, and crab-like.The Caxtons, Complete
The practice thus forced upon one in employing a Chinese servant is useful in preventing a circumlocutory habit of speech.
- an indirect way of expressing something
- an indirect expression
Word Origin and History for circumlocutory
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.”