- 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."
- 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
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- 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.”