- The definition of circumlocution means the use of unneeded words.
An example of circumlocution is the use of the phrase "pass on" instead of "dies."
circumlocution definition by Webster's New World
- a roundabout, indirect, or lengthy way of expressing something; periphrasis
- an instance of this
Origin: Middle English circumlocucioun ; from Classical Latin circumlocutio: see circum- and amp; locution
- circumlocutory adjective
circumlocution definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- The use of unnecessarily wordy and indirect language.
- Evasion in speech or writing.
- A roundabout expression.
Origin: Middle English circumlocucioun, from Latin circumlocūtiō, circumlocūtiōn-, from circumlocūtus, past participle of circumloquī : circum-, circum- + loquī, to speak; see tolkw- in Indo-European roots.
- cirˌcum·locˌu·toˈri·ly adverb
- cirˌcum·locˈu·toˌry adjective
circumlocution - Cultural Definition
Roundabout speech or writing: “The driveway was not unlike that military training device known as an obstacle course” is a circumlocution for “The driveway resembled an obstacle course.” Circumlocution comes from Latin words meaning “speaking around.”