American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The use of unnecessarily wordy and indirect language.
- n. Evasion in speech or writing.
- n. A roundabout expression.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A roundabout way of speaking; an indirect mode of statement; particularly, a studied indirectness or evasiveness of language in speaking or writing.
- n. A roundabout or indirect way of speaking; the use of more words than necessary to express an idea.
- n. A roundabout expression. See also euphemism
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The use of many words to express an idea that might be expressed by few; indirect or roundabout language; a periphrase.
- n. a style that involves indirect ways of expressing things
- n. an indirect way of expressing something
- Middle English circumlocucioun, from Latin circumlocūtiō, circumlocūtiōn-, from circumlocūtus, past participle of circumloquī : circum-, circum- + loquī, to speak; see tolkw- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“It comes to the same thing, no doubt, but the circumlocution is significant.”
“Another unnecessary use of words and phrases is that which is termed circumlocution, a going around the bush when there is no occasion for it, -- save to fill space.”
“His circumlocution was a suave way of stating that he had done all that could be expected of a neighbor and benevolent friend, and that the ordinary relation of broker and customer ought now be established.”
“I was a rich heiress -- I had, I believe, a hundred thousand pounds, or more, and twice as many caprices: I was handsome and witty -- or, to speak with that kind of circumlocution which is called humility, the world, the partial world, thought me a beauty and a bel-esprit.”
“I was a rich heiress – I had, I believe, a hundred thousand pounds, or more, and twice as many caprices: I was handsome and witty – or, to speak with that kind of circumlocution which is called humility, the world, the partial world, thought me a beauty and a bel-esprit.”
““Partial” birth and post-birth abortions are, de facto, equivalent to infanticide, to suggest otherwise or to elide that fact via circumlocution or other semantic finessing is precisely that, evasion.”
“Some words get translated using circumlocution: a scanner (or scanner in Italian), as in a flatbed scanner, is an apparatus opticus et electronicus ad legendam imaginem: an optical and electronic device for reading images.”
“All along she has been, notwithstanding the weaselly circumlocution 'cleared by the Commons Authorities', effectively looting the public purse to maintain her family home.”
“The present shiftiness, circumlocution and evasion is doing the party nothing but harm.”
“Whilst Ronspeak comes with a certain level of corporate cliche, and its use of prosaic circumlocution can be irritating to some, the scale of Ron's achievement in the most competitive business in the world, bestows upon his utterances a sense of weight and solemnity, perhaps in the same way that the Higgs field purportedly bestows mass upon electrons and quarks.”
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