circumlocution

[ sur-kuhm-loh-kyoo-shuhn ]
/ ˌsɜr kəm loʊˈkyu ʃən /

noun

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

Origin of circumlocution

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin circumlocūtiōn- (stem of circumlocūtiō). See circum-, locution
Related formscir·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. 2019

Examples from the Web for circumlocutory

British Dictionary definitions for circumlocutory

circumlocution

/ (ˌsɜːkəmləˈkjuːʃən) /

noun

an indirect way of expressing something
an indirect expression
Derived Formscircumlocutory (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

Word Origin and History for circumlocutory

circumlocution


n.

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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for circumlocutory

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.