circumvent

verb
cir·​cum·​vent | \ ˌsər-kəm-ˈvent How to pronounce circumvent (audio) \
circumvented; circumventing; circumvents

Definition of circumvent

transitive verb

1 : to manage to get around especially by ingenuity or stratagem the setup circumvented the red tape— Lynne McTaggart circumvent a problem
2a : to hem in Circumvented by the enemy, he had to surrender.
b : to make a circuit around the river circumvented

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Other Words from circumvent

circumvention \ ˌsər-​kəm-​ˈven(t)-​shən How to pronounce circumvent (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for circumvent

Synonyms

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The Circular History of Circumvent

If you've ever felt as if someone was circling around the rules, you have an idea of the origins of circumvent—it derives from the Latin circum, meaning "circle," and ventus, the past participle of the Latin verb venire, meaning "to come." The earliest uses of circumvent referred to a tactic of hunting or warfare in which the quarry or enemy was encircled and captured. Today, however, circumvent more often suggests avoidance than entrapment; it typically means to "get around" someone or something.

Examples of circumvent in a Sentence

Los Angeles was the beachhead for the sushi invasion, attracting many Japanese chefs eager to make their fortunes and to circumvent the grueling 10-year apprenticeship required in their homeland. — Jay McInerney, New York Times Book Review, 10 June 2007 … Rondon and Lyra paddled to the right side, where they found a channel that circumvented the worst part of the rapids. — Candice Millard, The River of Doubt, 2005 His appreciation of this finer side of life is circumvented by a cynicism that he tells me is common to Eastern Europeans. — Lynne Tillman, Motion Sickness, 1991 The thirty-six-hour workweek established by the garment-industry code was circumvented by having the workers punch out at five P.M., leave by the back door (their usual entrance), then return by the front door and work until eleven P.M. without punching the clock. — Melissa Hield, Speaking For Ourselves, (1977) 1984 We circumvented the problem by using a different program. He found a way to circumvent the law.
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Recent Examples on the Web But hundreds of the workers arrested in Mississippi in 2019 managed to circumvent the E-Verify check by using another person’s legal documents. Washington Post, 12 Oct. 2021 Meanwhile, an initiative petition drive that would circumvent the governor's veto of several GOP election bills recently secured approval from the Board of State Canvassers to begin collecting signatures. Clara Hendrickson, Detroit Free Press, 4 Oct. 2021 The more people who remain unvaccinated, the more opportunities the virus has to infect and mutate, creating the risk of new variants that could circumvent our vaccine immunity. Jonathan Sackner-bernstein, CNN, 23 Aug. 2021 FlyBoyFu also expressed support for the TikTok strike and discontentment with the platform’s inability to incorporate technology that could circumvent this lack of crediting culture. Kovie Biakolo, Essence, 29 July 2021 Since then, virtual private networks, which are tools used to reroute internet traffic that can circumvent some internet censorship, and popular communication apps in Cuba have been blocked. NBC News, 13 July 2021 Her aides say that would circumvent corrupt foreign officials and outlast shifts in U.S. policy and aid between administrations. Tarini Parti, WSJ, 25 June 2021 Democrats could attach the drug policy to an infrastructure plan to be approved in the Senate under reconciliation, the fast-track process that would circumvent a Republican filibuster. Jennifer Haberkorn, Los Angeles Times, 26 May 2021 Democrats, who control the Senate, are plotting a path to passing a $2 trillion infrastructure proposal that could circumvent unanimous GOP opposition. Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner, 12 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'circumvent.' 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 circumvent

1539, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for circumvent

Latin circumventus, past participle of circumvenire, from circum- + venire to come — more at come

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Time Traveler for circumvent

Time Traveler

The first known use of circumvent was in 1539

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Dictionary Entries Near circumvent

circumvene

circumvent

circumvolute

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Statistics for circumvent

Last Updated

21 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Circumvent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/circumvent. Accessed 24 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for circumvent

circumvent

verb

English Language Learners Definition of circumvent

: to avoid being stopped by (something, such as a law or rule) : to get around (something) in a clever and sometimes dishonest way

circumvent

verb
cir·​cum·​vent | \ ˌsər-kəm-ˈvent How to pronounce circumvent (audio) \
circumvented; circumventing

Kids Definition of circumvent

: to avoid the force or effect of by cleverness They tried to circumvent the rules.

More from Merriam-Webster on circumvent

Nglish: Translation of circumvent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of circumvent for Arabic Speakers

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