round·​about | \ ˈrau̇n-də-ˌbau̇t \

Definition of roundabout

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: circuitous, indirect had to take a roundabout route



Definition of roundabout (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a circuitous route : detour
2 British : merry-go-round
3 : a short close-fitting jacket worn by men and boys especially in the 19th century

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Other Words from roundabout


roundaboutness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for roundabout

Synonyms: Adjective

circuitous, circular, indirect

Antonyms: Adjective

direct, straight, straightforward

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Examples of roundabout in a Sentence


He took a roundabout route to town. In a roundabout way, he told me that my help was not wanted.

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

This scrappy entrepreneur achieved prominence in roundabout fashion. Tom Nolan, WSJ, "‘Hollywood Godfather’ Review: Shaking Down Tinseltown," 27 Dec. 2018 At the roundabout exit for the factory and world headquarters, the forest next to the road isn't like the surrounding countryside. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "The Palace of Perfectionism Where McLaren Supercars Are Born," 12 Feb. 2016 Idea #9: A roundabout formed with hedges always mesmerizes. Sarah Bray, House Beautiful, "10 Breathtaking Gardens," 12 May 2014 For instance, Sound Transit’s future I-405 bus station at Northeast 85th Street in Kirkland will also give drivers another place to reach the express toll lanes, by sharing a roundabout interchange with buses. Mike Lindblom, The Seattle Times, "Can $3 billion in toll lanes, interchanges and bus rapid transit fix I-405 gridlock?," 9 Sep. 2018 But, yes, the half of it that is in Lake County is included in a closure west of Darrell Road — speaking of key cut-through routes, in this case around Wauconda — north of Island Lake for construction of a roundabout at River Road. Dan Moran, Lake County News-Sun, "Moran: Washington Street repairs a reminder to expect unexpected construction," 5 June 2018 The final piece will be a roundabout at Guajome and Terrace drives and new sidewalks, street lamps and landscaping. Pam Kragen,, "Vista restaurateur sends out SOS over road work," 25 May 2018 In Vessel everything is interconnected by steps, 2,500 to be precise, going up, down, roundabout—dizzyingly, in the manner of an Indian stepwell. Vicky Ward, Town & Country, "Stephen Ross Is Building New York City's Next Must-See Destination," 16 Feb. 2018 Bruno said people should take the roundabout at somewhere between 20 and 25 miles per hour. Hayley Harding,, "Road Construction At Bradley International Airport Means It's Going To Take Longer To Get There," 27 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The first roundabout will be installed at the intersection of Constitution Boulevard and Langley Drive, which is currently a four-way stop. Karen Huppertz, ajc, "Gwinnett to apply for $3.5 million in state grants for transportation," 27 Mar. 2018 Since the first 300,000-strong protest on November 17, the movement of blue collar workers has been protesting every Saturday in cities and on highway roundabouts around the country. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Eiffel Tower, Louvre, and More Closed Saturday Ahead of Paris’s ‘Yellow Vest’ Protests," 7 Dec. 2018 For locals, East Camino Real will be closed from the roundabout at Royal Palm Way and the Boca Raton Resort & Club. Marci Shatzman,, "Boca Raton's Camino Real bridge to close for a year, starting next week," 5 Apr. 2018 East Camino Real is closed from the Royal Palm Way/Boca Resort Drive roundabout to Cocoanut Road. Kari Barnett,, "FPL pole replacement among ongoing Boca Raton roadwork," 6 July 2018 Barakat said other options for the intersection were considered, including a roundabout. Steve Smith, Courant Community, "Route 17 Off-Ramp To Be Removed," 3 July 2018 Meanwhile, a second roundabout being installed at Heritage and Crabapple is awaiting the installation of lights and a sidewalk. David Ibata, ajc, "New roundabout to open in Milton," 28 June 2018 Two roundabouts already are under construction along 96th Street, at Priority Way and Hazel Dell Parkway. John Tuohy, Indianapolis Star, "Monday just got worse: Roundabout work to begin at Keystone and 96th Street," 1 June 2018 The at-large councilman questioned Villere and other administration representatives as to who came up with the idea of a roundabout at that location. Carol Wolfram,, "Slidell High Jazz Band rocks out for Camp Salmen," 15 May 2018

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


1608, in the meaning defined above


circa 1734, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

5 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for roundabout

The first known use of roundabout was in 1608

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More Definitions for roundabout



English Language Learners Definition of roundabout

: not direct

: not simple, clear, or plain : long and confusing


round·​about | \ ˈrau̇n-də-ˌbau̇t \

Kids Definition of roundabout

: not direct I took a roundabout route to get here.

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