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

Antonyms

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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 Within 90 days, App Store developers will be able to circumvent the 30 percent commission by adding in-app buttons or links to their own websites with their own payment systems. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, 10 Sep. 2021 The Texas state legislature sought to circumvent those rulings by deputizing private citizens to enforce a ban on abortions after six weeks. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 9 Sep. 2021 Paris ISD, which lies 85 miles northeast of Allen, attempted to circumvent the legal battle by requiring masks through their dress code. Dallas News, 19 Aug. 2021 Some state legislators are trying to circumvent prohibitions against private paramilitary groups by proposing laws that would effectively deputize private gun owners as members of volunteer state militias. Jonathan Stevenson, The New York Review of Books, 3 Aug. 2021 Bullock, who is Black, says too many companies circumvent diversity and inclusion requirements by either skirting statutes or budgeting for fines for failing to meet them. Washington Post, 22 July 2021 The lawsuit argues that the agreement is attempting to circumvent federal law by allowing Floridians to place sports bets without having to physically be on tribal land. Angie Dimichele, sun-sentinel.com, 5 July 2021 But Andrews warns of shoppers hoping to circumvent higher prices by making luxury goods purchases at airports. Roxanne Robinson, Forbes, 29 June 2021 Authorities say Das solicited money from friends and close associates and developed a scheme to circumvent campaign contribution limits by disguising the funds as personal loans. BostonGlobe.com, 29 June 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

15 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Circumvent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/circumvent. Accessed 22 Sep. 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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