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

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 At the time, Chestnut was closed to vehicular traffic, making the delivery of furniture and other office supplies a mostly nights-and-weekends affair requiring roundabout routes and driving the wrong direction on the one-way street. Diane Mastrull,, "Why patient transport firm RoundTrip moved to the middle of a Philly fire zone," 15 June 2018 Remember, the vehicles in the roundabout always have the right of way. Bob Dohr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "As you hit the roadways, be aware of these 12 crash-prone intersections in the Milwaukee area," 24 May 2018 Much of the work will focus on the roundabout at Reserve Street, including laying asphalt and striping lanes, according to a release from St. Luke's. Michael Katz, idahostatesman, "Planning to be in the Fort Boise area this weekend? You may want to rethink your route | Idaho Statesman," 16 May 2018 At the roundabout, take the first exit onto Oak Grove Road, go 100 yards, and then continue onto Castle Rock Road and drive 1 mile to signed right turn to entrance road to Old Borges Ranch. Tom Stienstra, San Francisco Chronicle, "Winter, spring arrive at same moment at Mount Diablo," 4 Mar. 2018 Otherwise, the projects would have required shorter multiple closings of a couple of weeks to install the sewer and roundabout work that wouldn't be finished until next summer, officials said. Jane Ford-stewart, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Drivers be aware: Forest Home and Janesville roads are closing in Hales Corners for three months," 11 July 2018 There’s always been an element of moral questioning to the Jurassic movies, but in Fallen Kingdom — which even in its name seems to be making a roundabout allusion to the erstwhile Garden of Eden — that question becomes more of an answer. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is the feel-bad blockbuster of the summer," 20 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

According to a news release, the state Department of Transportation is turning that intersection into a roundabout. Steven Martinez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Merton is getting a roundabout this summer. Here's what that means for traffic.," 8 June 2018 In preparation for the opening of the new roundabout along state Route 76 at Valley Center Road, backcountry travelers will face some long delays and detours next week. J. Harry Jones,, "Highway 76 roundabout opening will cause long detours next week," 13 June 2018 Authorities say that the project will add a new roundabout and a new closed storm sewer system. Madeline Mitchell,, "Traffic Update: Construction at Hamilton Mason Road and LeSourdsville West Chester Road intersection," 12 June 2018 Krcmery said Westfield bought the house for $685,000 in 2015, while acquiring right of way for a roundabout at Westfield Boulevard and 151st. Chris Sikich, Indianapolis Star, "Westfield residents fear commercial sprawl if access road is built alongside U.S. 31 south of Target," 14 Mar. 2018 The city also closed 126th Street and Gray Road around the same time to build a roundabout, which drove other customers away. Chris Sikich, Indianapolis Star, "Carmel seeks to solve surprising problem: city has no grocery stores on its east side," 5 July 2018 Oswego is looking at design concepts to widen Wolf’s Crossing Road that include the installation of four roundabouts. Linda Girardi, Aurora Beacon-News, "Wolf's Crossing Road in Oswego may be widened and include roundabouts," 27 June 2018 The city will spend $2.9 million to build a roundabout at Rio Salado Parkway and Ash Avenue, in the area where the streetcar will run. Jerod Macdonald-evoy, azcentral, "From pickleball to bikepaths: What's in the Tempe budget for you," 12 June 2018 Anderson, meanwhile, said the city planted some new landscaping in the roundabout recently, including perennial flowers of various colors and sizes. Rosemarie Dowell,, "Tavares' Freedom Flag at roundabout a high-flying symbol on Flag Day," 11 June 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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Phrases Related to roundabout

swings and roundabouts

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Last Updated

14 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for roundabout

The first known use of roundabout was in 1608

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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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Comments on roundabout

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