View synonyms for circumvent


[ sur-kuhm-vent, sur-kuhm-vent ]

verb (used with object)

  1. to go around or bypass:

    to circumvent the lake;

    to circumvent the real issues.

  2. to avoid (defeat, failure, unpleasantness, etc.) by artfulness or deception; avoid by anticipating or outwitting:

    He circumvented capture by anticipating their movements.

    Synonyms: outwit, evade, elude, escape

  3. to surround or encompass, as by stratagem; entrap:

    to circumvent a body of enemy troops.

    Synonyms: ensnare, encircle


/ ˌsɜːkəmˈvɛnt /


  1. to evade or go around
  2. to outwit
  3. to encircle (an enemy) so as to intercept or capture

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Derived Forms

  • ˌcircumˈventive, adjective
  • ˌcircumˈvention, noun
  • ˌcircumˈventer, noun

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Other Words From

  • cir·cum·vent·er cir·cum·ven·tor noun
  • cir·cum·ven·tion noun
  • cir·cum·ven·tive adjective
  • un·cir·cum·vent·ed adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of circumvent1

First recorded in 1545–55; from Latin circumventus (past participle of circumvenīre “to come around, surround, oppress, defraud”), equivalent to circum- circum- + ven(īre) “to come” + -tus past participle suffix

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Word History and Origins

Origin of circumvent1

C15: from Latin circumvenīre, from circum- + venīre to come

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Example Sentences

This is a way to circumvent browser blockades to ensure that ad platforms can access the data advertisers rely on to measure campaign performance now and in the future when a website’s server can no longer set trackers on the user’s browser.

From Digiday

That a private company, servicing almost a third of the global population, was poised to circumvent the existing international monetary system shocked central banks already reeling from the rise of cryptocurrencies.

From Time

The idea of giving freely of what you no longer need rather than tossing it—that is, the very essence of a hiker box—circumvents the self-replicating loop of infinite consumption and waste.

Yet in reality, those protections turned out to be either ineffective or easy to circumvent, our stories showed.

Indeed, there are apps in the iOS App Store that use measurement and attribution tools to circumvent Apple’s guidance around tracking to varying degrees.

From Digiday

Actually, the guessing game is over; the weddings have begun, as have weird attempts to circumvent our constitutional democracy.

Production relocation to Africa and South America have allowed Chinese enterprises to circumvent trade caps.

The bar,” says Dr. Markel, “gets so high their strengths can no longer circumvent their weaknesses.

Instead, the report details an elaborate scheme to circumvent campaign finance laws.

Mainstream media like Hurriyet published tips of how to circumvent the restriction.

The Cardinal then hinted, that Wharton had vanished on some occult mission, to circumvent the Italian investiture.

Punishment still comes to us from those whom we would circumvent.

Philip gave Heracleides a kind of problem to work out,—how to circumvent and destroy the Rhodian fleet.

No wonder that provident parents circumvent such a common law by a settlement before marriage!

How could he know that a deeply laid plot was not already at work to undermine and circumvent him?


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