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

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

Unlike Google, which is at heart an advertising company, Apple can't puff up its profit in the roundabout ways that Google can. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "For Apple's Big Event on Monday, Hardware Is Just a Sideshow," 21 Mar. 2019 Taylor herself has addressed these theories, albeit in a roundabout way, but the rumors still abound. Kara Nesvig, Teen Vogue, "Taylor Swift Says Fans Will Be "First to Know" When New Music Is Coming," 15 Mar. 2019 At a roundabout where Islamic State once displayed executed bodies, a tattoo parlor has opened alongside restaurants and a hookah cafe. Raja Abdulrahim, WSJ, "To Rebuild a Syrian City, Men First Dig Up and Rebury the Dead," 26 Oct. 2018 Crews also will add a signal light in Esparto and a roundabout at County Road 89, known as Guy's Corner, near the town of Madison. Tony Bizjak, sacbee, "This Yolo road's like a country song. It's seen heartache and woe. Now, for some love," 9 July 2018 The construction of a roundabout is complex, which would likely create a challenge for the businesses in the area, Adamczyk said. Alexandra Kukulka,, "Glenview trustees decline to move forward with Patriot Boulevard roundabouts, request more information," 5 July 2018 One $202,960 grant will help finance the reconstruction of the intersection at Peachtree Corners Circle and Medlock Bridge Road into a roundabout with sidewalks and multi-use trails. Karen Huppertz, ajc, "State approves grant funding for 2 road projects in Peachtree Corners," 25 June 2018 Plans also include a roundabout at Bay Boulevard and the transformation of an unused railroad bridge above Interstate 5 into a pathway for pedestrians and bicyclists. David Hernandez,, "Chula Vista plans to revamp F Street," 20 Mar. 2018 This scrappy entrepreneur achieved prominence in roundabout fashion. Tom Nolan, WSJ, "‘Hollywood Godfather’ Review: Shaking Down Tinseltown," 27 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Engineers hired to evaluate the project's traffic impact suggested a roundabout at the Monroe/East Causeway Approach intersection as a way to help ease the impact of additional vehicles in the area. Kim Chatelain,, "Roundabout design contract to be vetted by Mandeville City Council," 8 May 2018 The project, which will eventually total $15 million if all goes as hoped, includes construction of three roundabouts at the intersections of Broadway, Maple and Kalmia, as well as the removal of the medians and widening of sidewalks. J. Harry Jones,, "Eucalyptus trees along Grand Avenue coming down quickly," 1 May 2018 The new Hebron branch is under construction on land near the roundabout at Ky. 237 and Cardinal Way. Chris Mayhew,, "Florence buys land in hopes of a Boone County Public Library branch," 5 July 2018 Protesters continue to camp out at roundabouts across the countryside. Matthew Dalton, WSJ, "French Police Arrest Key ‘Yellow Vest’ Figure, Signaling Crackdown," 3 Jan. 2019 On Tuesday, she was stationed at the roundabout on Louie B. Nunn Drive to prevent motorists from going into the path of the pursuit, which police said reached speeds of 80 miles per hour. Cameron Knight,, "Campbell County officer out of hospital after high-speed chase crash," 14 Feb. 2018 The first roundabout will be installed at the intersection of Constitution Boulevard and Langley Drive, which is currently a four-way stop. Karen Huppertz, ajc, "Gwinnett to apply for $3.5 million in state grants for transportation," 27 Mar. 2018 Since the first 300,000-strong protest on November 17, the movement of blue collar workers has been protesting every Saturday in cities and on highway roundabouts around the country. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Eiffel Tower, Louvre, and More Closed Saturday Ahead of Paris’s ‘Yellow Vest’ Protests," 7 Dec. 2018 For locals, East Camino Real will be closed from the roundabout at Royal Palm Way and the Boca Raton Resort & Club. Marci Shatzman,, "Boca Raton's Camino Real bridge to close for a year, starting next week," 5 Apr. 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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Statistics for roundabout

Last Updated

30 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 How to pronounce roundabout (audio) \

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).


to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

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