round·​about | \ ˈrau̇n-də-ˌbau̇t How to pronounce roundabout (audio) \

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

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of roundabout in a Sentence

Adjective 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 Maybe, in some roundabout way, there was justice in that., 3 July 2021 Opponents argue the tax credits are a roundabout way of funding private schools with taxpayer dollars when directly funding private schools violates the state constitution. Olivia Krauth, The Courier-Journal, 5 June 2021 In more roundabout ways, both comments on the Times article hit on something true. Melissa Mohr, The Christian Science Monitor, 17 May 2021 The least that the Right should do, in their view, is to relieve some of the economic stress on families in direct rather than roundabout ways. Samuel Gregg, National Review, 24 Feb. 2021 For years, China came at Hong Kong’s opposition politicians in roundabout ways to maintain a facade of legitimacy. Mary Hui, Quartz, 11 Nov. 2020 Option 3 called for installing the stop signs and doing a roundabout feasibility study, which was estimated to cost $30,000. Barbara Henry, San Diego Union-Tribune, 31 May 2021 Dollhouse is the most retroactively controversial Whedon project, a disturbing tale of mental-physical enslavement that is either a deconstruction of predatory gender-power dynamics or a roundabout celebration of same. Darren Franich,, 17 May 2021 Instead, the route has been changed to reach the Western Wall, in the Jewish Quarter, in a more roundabout way. Ilan Ben Zion And Joseph Krauss, The Christian Science Monitor, 10 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The roundabout is near Mohawk Trails Elementary and Clay Middle School. John Tuohy, The Indianapolis Star, 3 July 2021 The roundabout, back and forth drive lasted just 33 minutes and went so well that more driving was on tap Friday and Saturday for the the six-wheeled rover. Star Tribune, 5 Mar. 2021 The roundabout will be able to accommodate emergency vehicles, semi-trailer trucks, buses and passenger cars. Karen Pearlman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 Nov. 2020 McKenzie indicated to the Star Tribune that the fist sculpture that’s in the middle of the roundabout will remain in place. Washington Post, 3 June 2021 According to Southlake Mobility, contractors started the work along Burney Lane to the Dove Road roundabout, or Sector A, on Thursday. Anna Caplan, Dallas News, 27 May 2021 Hennepin County is building a roundabout and bridge at County Road 92. Tim Harlow, Star Tribune, 16 May 2021 Jordan's disparate opposition groups had called for a large demonstration in Dakhiliya roundabout, the site of large protests in 2011 demanding regime change during the Arab Spring that shook governments from Tunisia to the Gulf. Reuters, CNN, 25 Mar. 2021 Other aspects of the project include the installation of a roundabout at Broad Street’s intersection with Canal Street. al, 18 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for roundabout

Time Traveler

The first known use of roundabout was in 1608

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Statistics for roundabout

Last Updated

6 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Roundabout.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jul. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce roundabout (audio) \

Kids Definition of roundabout

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

More from Merriam-Webster on roundabout

Nglish: Translation of roundabout for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of roundabout for Arabic Speakers


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