Simple Definition of circumvent
: to avoid being stopped by (something, such as a law or rule) : to get around (something) in a clever and sometimes dishonest way
Examples of circumvent in a sentence
Los Angeles was the beachhead for the sushi invasion, attracting many Japanese chefs eager to make their fortunes and to circumvent the grueling 10-year apprenticeship required in their homeland. —Jay McInerney, New York Times Book Review, 10 June 2007
… Rondon and Lyra paddled to the right side, where they found a channel that circumvented the worst part of the rapids. —Candice Millard, The River of Doubt, 2005
His appreciation of this finer side of life is circumvented by a cynicism that he tells me is common to Eastern Europeans. —Lynne Tillman, Motion Sickness, 1991
The thirty-six-hour workweek established by the garment-industry code was circumvented by having the workers punch out at five P.M., leave by the back door (their usual entrance), then return by the front door and work until eleven P.M. without punching the clock. —Melissa Hield, Speaking For Ourselves, (1977) 1984
We circumvented the problem by using a different program.
He found a way to circumvent the law.
Did You Know?
If you’ve ever felt as if someone were circling around the rules, you have an idea of the origins of "circumvent" - it derives from the Latin circum, meaning "circle," and "ventus," the past participle of the Latin verb venire, meaning "to come." The earliest uses of "circumvent" referred to a tactic of hunting or warfare in which the quarry or enemy was encircled and captured. Today, however, "circumvent" more often suggests avoidance than entrapment; it typically means to "get around" someone or something, as in our example sentences.
Origin and Etymology of circumvent
Latin circumventus, past participle of circumvenire, from circum- + venire to come — more at come
First Known Use: 1539
Rhymes with circumvent
accident, aliment, Blaenau Gwent, compartment, complement, compliment, confident, devilment, diffident, discontent, document, evident, heaven-sent, implement, incident, instrument, Jack-a-Lent, malcontent, nonevent, Occident, ornament, orient, provident, regiment, reinvent, represent, re-present, resident, Saint-Laurent, sediment, self-content, subsequent, supplement
CIRCUMVENT Defined for Kids
Definition of circumvent for Students
: to avoid the force or effect of by cleverness <They tried to circumvent the rules.>
Seen and Heard
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