View synonyms for circumstantial


[ sur-kuhm-stan-shuhl ]


  1. relating to or derived from circumstances:

    a circumstantial result;

    circumstantial evidence.

  2. of the nature of a circumstance or minor detail; nonessential; secondary:

    of circumstantial importance.

  3. dealing with or giving circumstances; detailed; particular:

    a circumstantial report of a business conference.

    Synonyms: precise, exact, thorough, minute

  4. pertaining to conditions of material welfare.


/ ˌsɜːkəmˈstænʃəl /


  1. of or dependent on circumstances
  2. fully detailed
  3. incidental

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Derived Forms

  • ˌcircumˈstantially, adverb
  • ˌcircumˈstantiˈality, noun

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Other Words From

  • circum·stantial·ly adverb
  • noncir·cum·stantial adjective
  • noncir·cum·stantial·ly adverb
  • uncir·cum·stantial adjective
  • uncir·cum·stantial·ly adverb

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Word History and Origins

Origin of circumstantial1

1590–1600; < Latin circumstanti ( a ) circumstance + -al 1

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Example Sentences

We can’t see through Venus’ thick clouds, but thanks to a vast amount of circumstantial evidence scientists think it’s almost certainly still erupting.

There are several pieces of circumstantial evidence leading scientists to suspect that our solar system suffered a dynamical instability, an event during which the giant planets’ orbits changed in sudden, dramatic fashion.

While the NYPD declined to comment on specific incidents, a spokesperson said cases often have “important circumstantial distinctions.”

While there is a demand for quality supply in the region, it’s circumstantial and client-specific, said Niou, some clients are looking for the most cost-effective way of reaching people in a region where the CPMs are relatively low.

From Digiday

All of which offers some evidence—circumstantial, at least—that to strongly fused individuals, there is something viscerally threatening about being exposed to opposing political ideas.

Part of that has just been circumstantial and part of that has been by design.

A fair amount of it is biological, but a lot of it is also circumstantial.

The problem is that there is an enormous amount of both direct and circumstantial evidence to the contrary.

The case, he said, is “built on loose circumstantial evidence.”

Still, the circumstantial case against Lieberman involved much more money and was much more transparent.

These stories by a round-about way, gathering in circumstantial detail as they travelled, had reached his sister.

While a jury might refuse to convict on circumstantial evidence a detective is not so deterred.

Circumstantial evidence backed by a confession that checks on all angles is about all any jury needs to be convinced of guilt.

I have known you for a long time, and possess the most circumstantial details about the plans you were devising.

A public meeting was convened, and Moffat gave a circumstantial account of the information he had gathered.


Related Words




circumstancedcircumstantial evidence