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verb cir·cum·vent \ˌsər-kəm-ˈvent\

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

Full Definition of circumvent

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to hem in b :  to make a circuit around

  3. 2 :  to manage to get around especially by ingenuity or stratagem <the setup circumvented the red tape — Lynne McTaggart>

cir·cum·ven·tion play \-ˈven(t)-shən\ noun

Examples of circumvent

  1. 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

  2. … 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. We circumvented the problem by using a different program.

  6. He found a way to circumvent the law.

Origin of circumvent

Latin circumventus, past participle of circumvenire, from circum- + venire to come — more at come

First Known Use: 1539

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February 7, 2016

a slight offense

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