from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The use of unnecessarily wordy and indirect language.
- n. Evasion in speech or writing.
- n. A roundabout expression.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- 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
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The use of many words to express an idea that might be expressed by few; indirect or roundabout language; a periphrase.
from The 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.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- 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)
From Latin circumlocūtiō ("the act of speaking around; circumlocution, periphrasis"). Surface analysis circum- (“around”) + locution (“talk”); see these for related terms. Probably a calque of Ancient Greek περίφρασις (periphrasis, "periphrasis"). (Wiktionary)