- a roundabout or indirect way of speaking; the use of more words than necessary to express an idea.
- a roundabout expression.
Origin of circumlocution
Synonyms for circumlocutionSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Related Words for circumlocutoryambiguous, tortuous, oblique, incidental, implied, ancillary, circuitous, backhanded, vague, collateral, roundabout, circular, rambling, meandering, loose, long, lavish, dull, waffling, complicated
Examples from the Web for circumlocutory
Historical Examples of 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.”