circumstantial

adjective
cir·​cum·​stan·​tial | \ ˌsər-kəm-ˈstan(t)-shəl How to pronounce circumstantial (audio) \

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

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Other Words from circumstantial

circumstantiality \ ˌsər-​kəm-​ˌstan(t)-​shē-​ˈa-​lə-​tē How to pronounce circumstantiality (audio) \ noun
circumstantially \ ˌsər-​kəm-​ˈstan(t)-​sh(ə-​)lē How to pronounce circumstantially (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of circumstantial in a Sentence

The evidence is purely circumstantial. The case against him is circumstantial. a circumstantial account of the meeting
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Recent Examples on the Web

There are circumstantial reasons for the teacher to be concerned about Luce despite his good grades (most notably that a bag of fireworks was found in his gym locker). David Sims, The Atlantic, "A Flawed Thriller About the Myth of the ‘Model Immigrant’," 5 Aug. 2019 The case against Amato, Dowdy claimed, is purely circumstantial. Michael Williams, orlandosentinel.com, "Grant Amato trial: Jury deliberating in trial of man accused of killing family over relationship with webcam model," 31 July 2019 Both circumstantial and physical evidence led to his arrest after her body was found in the trunk of her car outside a vacant home last week. CBS News, "Grim details emerge about man accused of killing Baton Rouge civil rights activist," 17 July 2019 The purely circumstantial nature of Dr. Gott’s prediction unsettles many who hear of it. William Poundstone, WSJ, "‘Doomsday’ Math Says Humanity May Have Just 760 Years Left," 27 June 2019 The fact that energy has dominated the thermodynamics story up to now might be circumstantial rather than profound, Oppenheim said. Quanta Magazine, "The Quantum Thermodynamics Revolution," 2 May 2017 To identify Woods’ remains, scientists from DPAA used dental, anthropological and chest radiograph comparison analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence, according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. Sheila Vilvens, Cincinnati.com, "MIA for nearly 70 years, the remains of an Ohio soldier are coming home," 27 June 2019 The winery’s initial efforts with the grape were no doubt circumstantial: European immigrants had planted a good bit of Charbono in Calistoga around the turn of the century, some mistaking it for the Italian grape Barbera. Esther Mobley, SFChronicle.com, "The fight to keep alive Charbono, Napa’s nearly extinct heritage grape," 26 June 2019 With your feet on this foundation, tend to the circumstantial things, starting with the bridal shower you’ve been assigned. Carolyn Hax, The Mercury News, "Carolyn Hax: I really need this baby shower and my sister is grabbing the spotlight," 23 June 2019

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.

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First Known Use of circumstantial

1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for circumstantial

see circumstance

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Statistics for circumstantial

Last Updated

14 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for circumstantial

The first known use of circumstantial was in 1600

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More Definitions for circumstantial

circumstantial

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of circumstantial

law : based on information which suggests that something is true but does not prove that it is true
formal : providing or including the details of a particular situation or event

circumstantial

adjective
cir·​cum·​stan·​tial | \ ˌsər-kəm-ˈstan-chəl How to pronounce circumstantial (audio) \

Legal Definition of circumstantial

: belonging to, consisting in, or dependent on circumstances

Other Words from circumstantial

circumstantially adverb

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Comments on circumstantial

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