Definition of circuitous
- a circuitous route
- a circuitous journey by snowmobile
- a circuitous explanation
- His circuitous form of logic was mind-boggling.
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
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.
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.
: not straight, short, and direct
: not said or done simply or clearly
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