[ sur-kuhm-vent, sur-kuhm-vent ]
See synonyms for: circumventcircumventedcircumvention on

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.

  1. to surround or encompass, as by stratagem; entrap: to circumvent a body of enemy troops.

Origin of circumvent

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

Other words for circumvent

Other words from circumvent

  • 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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use circumvent in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for circumvent


/ (ˌsɜːkəmˈvɛnt) /

  1. to evade or go around

  2. to outwit

  1. to encircle (an enemy) so as to intercept or capture

Origin of circumvent

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

Derived forms of circumvent

  • circumventer or circumventor, noun
  • circumvention, noun
  • circumventive, 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