Simple Definition of circuitous
: not straight, short, and direct
: not said or done simply or clearly
Full Definition of circuitous
1 : having a circular or winding course <a circuitous route>
2 : not being forthright or direct in language or action <a circuitous explanation>
Examples of circuitous in a sentence
Their logic seems a bit circuitous.
<we took a circuitous route to the airport so as to avoid the massive traffic jam on the highway>
Did You Know?
If you guessed that "circuitous" is related to "circuit," you're right - both words come from Latin circuitus, the past participle of the verb circumire, meaning "to go around." "Circumire" is derived in turn from Latin circum, meaning "around," plus "ire," which means "to go." Other "circum" descendants making the rounds in English include "circumference" ("the perimeter of a circle"), "circumvent" (one meaning of which is "to make a circuit around"), "circumlocution" (the act of "talking around" a subject), and "circumnavigate" ("to go around"). There's also the prefix circum-, which means "around" or "about," and the familiar word circumstance, which describes a condition or event that "stands around" another.
Origin of circuitous
perhaps from Medieval Latin circuitosus, from Latin circuitus
First Known Use: 1664
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up circuitous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).