circuitous

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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.

circuitously

adverb

circuitousness

noun

circuitous was our Word of the Day on 02/27/2011. Hear the podcast!

Examples of circuitous in a Sentence

  1. Their logic seems a bit circuitous.

  2. we took a circuitous route to the airport so as to avoid the massive traffic jam on the highway

Recent Examples of circuitous from the Web

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.

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 and Etymology of circuitous

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


CIRCUITOUS Defined for English Language Learners

circuitous

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adjective

Definition of circuitous for English Language Learners

  • : not straight, short, and direct

  • : not said or done simply or clearly



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