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

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 That's a roundabout way of saying there's been a sudden loss of volume. Allure Editors, Allure, 13 Sep. 2022 Gilliatte found his way to Cannabis sativa in a roundabout way. Karl Schneider, The Indianapolis Star, 7 Sep. 2022 This mass immunization effort in raccoons is ultimately a roundabout way of protecting humans. Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, 6 Sep. 2022 Mesquite, Texas, Roth got into the veterinary field in a roundabout way with the help of a high-profile role model. San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Aug. 2022 That’s kind of a roundabout way to answer your question. Abbey White, The Hollywood Reporter, 8 Aug. 2022 The blue suit that Princess Diana wore for her engagement photos with Prince Charles was chosen in quite the roundabout way. Catherine Santino, Peoplemag, 4 Aug. 2022 Bo Larsen, the town’s community relations manager, said the roundabout study would be necessary to get millions in federal roadway funds, but has yet to be approved and likely would not cost as much as Meyers' suggested. Sam Kmack, The Arizona Republic, 17 Aug. 2022 Swimmers do not take a direct path to the destination but rather a roundabout approach that is navigated by guides. Fox News, 7 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Where the ancient palaces of the obas of Benin once stood, traffic now whizzes through a large roundabout. David Frum, The Atlantic, 14 Sep. 2022 Carmel’s first roundabout sculpture was installed in 2011. Brittany Carloni, The Indianapolis Star, 13 Sep. 2022 Some of the results can lack character, Benimana admitted—the city center is a giant roundabout, and its new hotels, malls, and industrial zones are a series of generic boxes—but other aspects are impressive. Nicola Twilley, The New Yorker, 15 Aug. 2022 The City Council approved another roundabout in 2018, on a 3-2 vote with Mayor Matt Hall and Councilmember Keith Blackburn opposed, to be installed at Carlsbad Boulevard and Cannon Road. Phil Diehl, San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 July 2022 The work to be completed includes the construction of a single-lane roundabout at the intersection, including full depth pavement reconstruction, as well as intersection improvements such as lighting, storm sewer, signage and pavement markings. cleveland, 1 May 2022 Skyline has yet to unveil a timeline for when the new location will open, however, construction is well underway next to the current restaurant on Plainfield Road just north of the new roundabout at Plainfield and Hunt roads. Quinlan Bentley, The Enquirer, 27 Aug. 2022 Olmedo-González said the city intends to let neighbors return the lawn gnomes to the roundabout, now that the statue is finished. Sean P. Means, The Salt Lake Tribune, 12 Apr. 2022 In most cells, the Krebs cycle is more like a roundabout than a cycle, with things coming in and going out at different points. Viviane Callier, Quanta Magazine, 8 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

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

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The first known use of roundabout was in 1608

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Dictionary Entries Near roundabout



roundabout chair

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Statistics for roundabout

Last Updated

16 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Roundabout.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for roundabout


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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