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 All of which is a roundabout way of saying that unlike nearly every other collegiate sport, the NCAA has never administered an actual championship tournament in football’s top division. Eddie Timanus, USA TODAY, "A look at the national titles Ohio State and Alabama have won in college football," 12 Jan. 2021 The coronavirus pandemic has, in a roundabout way, helped nonprofits provide extra assistance to homeless people. oregonlive, "As coronavirus spreads in Oregon, beds still available in county-provided isolation shelters," 2 Dec. 2020 Madelyn Rouse took a roundabout way to her commitment to the University of Iowa. Paul Johnson,, "St. Charles East’s Madelyn Rouse in the house for Iowa, commits after forming bond with coach while working out at Central Florida," 17 Nov. 2020 Uber also monitors the routes drivers take, preventing them from charging people more by taking a roundabout way. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, "The Capital Note: Destroying the Town to Save it — Lockdown Update," 12 Nov. 2020 This is a roundabout way of saying that not everything need be about Trump. Los Angeles Times, "No matter who wins the election, artists will be called upon to repair a broken nation," 30 Oct. 2020 Ford, who seems to have been born to be in the spotlight, came to fashion in a roundabout way. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "“He Brought Back Sex”—On Episode 6 of In Vogue: The 1990s, Georgina Grenville, Amber Valletta, and More Remember Tom Ford’s Gucci," 23 Oct. 2020 All of which is a roundabout way to say: Give me Green Bay. Usa Today Sports, USA TODAY, "NFL Week 6 roundtable: Who will be last undefeated team standing?," 18 Oct. 2020 In early September, a coalition of a hundred and fifty business leaders sent a letter to de Blasio, accusing him, in a roundabout way, of neglect and begging him to fix things. Nick Paumgarten, The New Yorker, "Andrew Cuomo, the King of New York," 12 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Drivers going south will be detoured at Market Street, east to High Street, south to the Mill Street roundabout and onto Main Street. Robin Goist, cleveland, "Portion of Akron’s Main Street closed to traffic until about May 31 because of construction," 4 Jan. 2021 The Mills Road roundabout has been such a success that City Council voted 6-1 last August in favor of an ordinance allowing Mayor Kevin Corcoran to begin making plans for not just one, but two more roundabouts. Linda Gandee, cleveland, "Not only one, but two more roundabouts may be coming to North Ridgeville," 4 Jan. 2021 The reimagined roadway features new roads and sidewalks, a traffic roundabout, the creation of a small park and public art pieces, undergrounding of utilities and monument archway signs at either end. San Diego Union-Tribune, "North County: A Year in Review," 27 Dec. 2020 Projects such as a roundabout at Louisiana 1077 and the Ochsner Exension Road near Covington would cost $3 million to $4 million if the parish bears the full cost, Binder said. Sara Pagones | Staff Writer,, "St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper, council clash over 2021 budget," 4 Dec. 2020 As Fakhrizadeh’s car neared a roundabout, a blue pickup truck parked near an electricity transmitter opened fire on the car and then exploded, cutting off local power, including to a nearby clinic; roadside cameras were disabled. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, "Why the Assassination of a Scientist Will Have No Impact on Iran’s Nuclear Program," 30 Nov. 2020 Rutkowski said the roundabout at Park Street is intended to create a gateway to the Main Street corridor. Michael Hamad,, "$10M proposal to transform Main Street in downtown Hartford includes roundabout, bike lanes, street trees," 20 Nov. 2020 Surveillance video shows Jimenez at a small roundabout on South Santa Fe, dancing and spinning in the traffic lane. Teri Figueroa, San Diego Union-Tribune, "DA clears law enforcement officers of wrongdoing in four in-custody deaths, notes meth as a factor in each," 18 Dec. 2020 The statue will ultimately be placed in the roundabout in front of the museum, and the entire process is expected to be completed next summer or next fall. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "Virginia Military Institute begins process of moving Stonewall Jackson statue to museum," 7 Dec. 2020

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

19 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Roundabout.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Mar. 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.

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