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

But, yes, the half of it that is in Lake County is included in a closure west of Darrell Road — speaking of key cut-through routes, in this case around Wauconda — north of Island Lake for construction of a roundabout at River Road. Dan Moran, Lake County News-Sun, "Moran: Washington Street repairs a reminder to expect unexpected construction," 5 June 2018 The final piece will be a roundabout at Guajome and Terrace drives and new sidewalks, street lamps and landscaping. Pam Kragen,, "Vista restaurateur sends out SOS over road work," 25 May 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

East Camino Real is closed from the Royal Palm Way/Boca Resort Drive roundabout to Cocoanut Road. Kari Barnett,, "FPL pole replacement among ongoing Boca Raton roadwork," 6 July 2018 Barakat said other options for the intersection were considered, including a roundabout. Steve Smith, Courant Community, "Route 17 Off-Ramp To Be Removed," 3 July 2018 Meanwhile, a second roundabout being installed at Heritage and Crabapple is awaiting the installation of lights and a sidewalk. David Ibata, ajc, "New roundabout to open in Milton," 28 June 2018 Two roundabouts already are under construction along 96th Street, at Priority Way and Hazel Dell Parkway. John Tuohy, Indianapolis Star, "Monday just got worse: Roundabout work to begin at Keystone and 96th Street," 1 June 2018 The at-large councilman questioned Villere and other administration representatives as to who came up with the idea of a roundabout at that location. Carol Wolfram,, "Slidell High Jazz Band rocks out for Camp Salmen," 15 May 2018 The second phase would include construction of a roundabout at the intersection of Broadway and Grand as well as more sidewalk widening. J. Harry Jones,, "Roundabouts, wider sidewalks planned along Escondido's Grand Avenue," 17 Feb. 2018 The city of Mandeville will enter into a contract with an engineering firm to design improvements to the intersection of Monroe Street and East Causeway Approach, the first step in the drive to put a roundabout at the location. Kim Chatelain,, "Mandeville to move forward with roundabout design contract," 25 May 2018 The home faces east on a hillside accessible by a long driveway and a roundabout. Karen A. Avitabile,, "Property of the Week: 112 Stoner Drive, West Hartford," 1 Feb. 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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Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for roundabout

The first known use of roundabout was in 1608

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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 \

Kids Definition of roundabout

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

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Comments on roundabout

What made you want to look up roundabout? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


by force of circumstances

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