[ sur-kuhm-vuh-loo-shuhn ]
/ ˌsɜr kəm vəˈlu ʃən /
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See synonyms for: circumvolution / circumvolutory on Thesaurus.com


the act of rolling or turning around: planetary circumvolution.
a single complete turn or cycle.
a winding or folding about something: the circumvolutions of a boa.
a fold so wound: the circumvolution of a snail shell.
a winding in a sinuous course; a sinuosity: the circumvolutions of the river.
a roundabout course or procedure, or an instance of such: The speaker's circumvolutions bored the audience to tears.



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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Origin of circumvolution

1400–50; late Middle English <Medieval Latin circumvolūtiōn- (stem of circumvolūtiō), equivalent to Latin circumvolūt(us) (past participle of circumvolvere to circumvolve) (circum-circum- + volū- past participle stem of volvere to roll + -tus past participle suffix) + -iōn--ion

OTHER WORDS FROM circumvolution

cir·cum·vo·lu·to·ry [suhr-kuhm-vuh-loo-tuh-ree], /ˌsʌr kəm vəˈlu tə ri/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for circumvolution

British Dictionary definitions for circumvolution

/ (ˌsɜːkəmvəˈluːʃən) /


the act of turning, winding, or folding around a central axis
a single complete turn, cycle, or fold
anything winding or sinuous
a roundabout course or procedure

Derived forms of circumvolution

circumvolutory, adjective

Word Origin for circumvolution

C15: from Medieval Latin circumvolūtiō, from Latin circumvolvere, from circum- + volvere to roll
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