Word of the Day : August 11, 2018

circuitous

play
adjective ser-KYOO-uh-tus

Definition

1 : having a circular or winding course

2 : not being forthright or direct in language or action

Did You Know?

If you guessed that circuitous is related to circuit, you're right—both words come from Latin circuitus, the past participle of the verb circumire, meaning "to go around." Circumire is derived, in turn, from Latin circum, meaning "around," plus ire, which means "to go." Other circum descendants making the rounds in English include circumference ("the perimeter of a circle"), circumvent (one meaning of which is "to make a circuit around"), circumlocution ("the act of 'talking around' a subject"), and circumnavigate ("to go around"). There's also the prefix circum-, which means "around" or "about," and the familiar word circumstance, which describes a condition or event that "stands around" another.


Examples

While either method will yield the correct answer, one is far less circuitous and therefore considered superior.

"The path has been circuitous and turbulent, but Andersen is back on a football field, back in those comfortable colors and trademark visor, and back at Utah." — Christopher Kamrani, The Salt Lake Tribune (Salt Lake City, Utah), 9 Mar. 2018



Word Family Quiz

What is the function of a circumflex (whose name is derived from Latin circum)?

VIEW THE ANSWER

Podcast


More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!