circuitous

adjective
cir·​cu·​i·​tous | \(ˌ)sər-ˈkyü-ə-təs \

Definition of circuitous 

1 : having a circular or winding course a circuitous route a circuitous journey by snowmobile

2 : not being forthright or direct in language or action a circuitous explanation His circuitous form of logic was mind-boggling.

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Other Words from circuitous

circuitously adverb
circuitousness noun

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.

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

Recent Examples on the Web

Ray had arrived in Los Angeles on Nov. 19, 1967, by way of a circuitous and highly criminal route. Matt Pearce, latimes.com, "When James Earl Ray came to L.A., months before he killed Martin Luther King, he found a place where he fit in," 4 Apr. 2018 However, the journey was a circuitous one after the Crimson Tide lost its final regular-season game and controversially entered the Playoff as the No. Eddie Timanus, USA TODAY, "Alabama finishes No. 1 in final Amway Coaches Poll for fifth time in nine years," 9 Jan. 2018 His journey was circuitous and unlikely: The son of a fisherman in the town of Puerto Colombia, Bacca grew up in considerable poverty. Kanishk Tharoor, The Atlantic, "The Elusive Underdog Magic of the World Cup," 14 July 2018 In Omaha, the Beavers took a circuitous route to the championship. Eric Olson, BostonGlobe.com, "Oregon State beats Arkansas to win College World Series," 29 June 2018 By diverting away from the South Street Bridge, the original plan to extend service up to 38th Street would have been too circuitous, so the new proposal goes only to 34th Street in University City. Jason Laughlin, Philly.com, "Here's what went into creating Philly's first new bus route in almost a decade," 25 Mar. 2018 Jenika Lombrana’s high school softball journey was long and circuitous – but the destination was divine. Jason Mcdaniel, Houston Chronicle, "Atascocita's Jenika Lombrana named All-Greater Houston softball pitcher of year," 29 June 2018 In Omaha, the Beavers took a circuitous route to the championship. Eric Olson, BostonGlobe.com, "Oregon State beats Arkansas to win College World Series," 29 June 2018 In Omaha, the Beavers took a circuitous route to the championship. Eric Olson, BostonGlobe.com, "Oregon State beats Arkansas to win College World Series," 29 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'circuitous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of circuitous

1664, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for circuitous

perhaps from Medieval Latin circuitosus, from Latin circuitus — see circuit entry 1

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Last Updated

11 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for circuitous

The first known use of circuitous was in 1664

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More Definitions for circuitous

circuitous

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of circuitous

: not straight, short, and direct

: not said or done simply or clearly

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