[sur-kuh m-stan-shee-al-i-tee]
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noun, plural cir·cum·stan·ti·al·i·ties for 2, 3.
  1. the quality of being circumstantial; minuteness; fullness of detail.
  2. a circumstance; a detail.
  3. Psychiatry. a pattern of speech that seems to wander because of excessive detail but eventuallyreaches its goal idea.

Origin of circumstantiality

First recorded in 1725–35; circumstantial + -ity Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Historical Examples of circumstantiality

circumstantiality in Medicine


  1. A disturbance in the thought process by detail that is often tangential and irrelevant.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.