circumstantial

adjective cir·cum·stan·tial \ ˌsər-kᵊm-ˈstan(t)-shəl \

Definition of circumstantial

1 : belonging to, consisting in, or dependent on circumstances
  • a circumstantial case
  • circumstantial factors
  • circumstantial evidence
2 : pertinent but not essential : incidental
  • Revolutions usually happen for both structural and circumstantial reasons.
  • —A. M. S. Aly
3 : marked by careful attention to detail : abounding in factual details
  • a circumstantial account of the fight
4 : ceremonial
  • the circumstantial splendor of the coronation

circumstantiality

play \-ˌstan(t)-shē-ˈa-lə-tē\ noun

circumstantially

play \-ˈstan(t)-sh(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of circumstantial in a Sentence

  1. The evidence is purely circumstantial.

  2. The case against him is circumstantial.

  3. a circumstantial account of the meeting

Recent Examples of circumstantial from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of circumstantial

Synonym Discussion of circumstantial

circumstantial, minute, particular, detailed mean dealing with a matter fully and usually point by point. circumstantial implies fullness of detail that fixes something described in time and space.
    • a circumstantial account of our visit
minute implies close and searching attention to the smallest details.
    • a minute examination of a fossil
particular implies a precise attention to every detail.
    • a particular description of the scene of the crime
detailed stresses abundance or completeness of detail.
    • a detailed analysis of the event

CIRCUMSTANTIAL Defined for English Language Learners

circumstantial

adjective

Definition of circumstantial for English Language Learners

  • law : based on information which suggests that something is true but does not prove that it is true

  • : providing or including the details of a particular situation or event


Law Dictionary

circumstantial

adjective cir·cum·stan·tial \ ˌsər-kəm-ˈstan-chəl \

legal Definition of circumstantial

: belonging to, consisting in, or dependent on circumstances

circumstantially

adverb


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