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 The coincidence was acknowledged only in roundabout ways. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "Harvey Weinstein Haunted the Golden Globes," 6 Jan. 2020 And cannabis-themed companies have certainly been at CES before, albeit in a roundabout way. Chris Morris, Fortune, "CES Cannabis Conundrum: Makers of Award-Winning Product Can’t Mention Its Purpose," 7 Jan. 2020 In a roundabout way, word gets to you -- but nothing's for sure (until an actual offer comes). Mary Kay Cabot, cleveland, "Report: The Browns have been making calls on head coaching candidates," 29 Dec. 2019 That’s particularly true in Kendall Square; commuters from most western suburbs need to take a roundabout route to get to Kendall today by public transit., "On Monday night, a MassDOT spokeswoman offered some hope for a new path: She said in an e-mail that the project team is “reassessing the 3 track station and a 4 track configuration” to ensure West Station is robust enough to accommodate the frequent service laid out in the Rail Vision study.," 17 Dec. 2019 The other project is to convert a roundabout to a single-point urban interchange in Bentonville. USA TODAY, "Rare yellow cardinal sighted, escaped goat caught, fossilized bear skull found: News from around our 50 states," 18 Oct. 2019 Following two crashes earlier this month at the intersection of Route 23 and Grafton Shop Road in Forest Hill, Harford County Councilman Chad Shrodes is renewing his efforts to get a roundabout there. Erika Butler,, "After recent crashes, Harford councilman renews request for roundabout at Route 23, Grafton Shop Road," 13 Sep. 2019 Scott entered theater in a roundabout way through Washington’s slam poetry scene. Mary Carole Mccauley,, "Does this Center Stage play have a shot at Broadway? Baltimoreans will help decide its fate.," 25 Oct. 2019 On the surface, a digital app may seem like a roundabout way to get people to pick up a pencil or a painting brush. Anne Quito, Quartzy, "A new sketching platform is designed to help adults get over the fear of drawing," 23 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Despite going to a referendum, residents won't see a bump in their taxes for the roundabout. Evan Frank, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Ready for a new Chick-fil-A? One is coming to Delafield in February," 22 Jan. 2020 More: Carmel roundabouts were supposed to reduce crashes. Kaitlin Lange, Indianapolis Star, "Carmel Clay Public Library is expanding its main campus. Here's what could change.," 5 Dec. 2019 The roundabout will be just south of Sherwood’s new high school, which is still under construction. oregonlive, "Portland metro Wednesday traffic: Kruger Road in Sherwood closes for construction," 4 Dec. 2019 Ramsey County officials note the roundabout on the north side of the interchange is now open and ready to direct traffic coming off the highway onto Rice Street. Tad Vezner, Twin Cities, "Ramsey County: I-694 traffic able to exit onto Rice Street by Thanksgiving Day," 22 Nov. 2019 Getting there: From State Route 179 in the Village of Oak Creek, go 2.1 miles west (left through the traffic roundabout) on Verde Valley School Road to the parking area on the left. Mare Czinar, azcentral, "Test your nerve on this less-used hiking trail in Sedona. Here's how," 27 Dec. 2019 Today there are more roundabouts in France than there are cafés or boulangeries. The Economist, "A septuagenarian mayor is tackling decline in his corner of rural France," 21 Nov. 2019 The truck pulled into the roundabout in front of the venue, when the bag was placed into the truck and the bride’s father went back in to the venue to get more wedding items to load into the truck, Harlan said. Richard Tribou,, "Florida newlyweds have thousands in gifts stolen during reception: report," 6 Nov. 2019 Honolulu launched the $1 million pilot project to install artificial turf in nine medians, roundabouts and other traffic spaces in February 2016, officials say. USA TODAY, "Duck seeking duck, forest ornaments, Alice Cooper’s Christmas Pudding: News from around our 50 states," 13 Dec. 2019

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

16 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Roundabout.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for roundabout


How to pronounce roundabout (audio)

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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