American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. An act of turning, coiling, or folding about a center, a core, or an axis.
- n. A single turn, coil, or fold; a convolution.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The act of rolling around.
- n. The state of being rolled around or wound into a roll.
- n. One of the windings of a thing wound or twisted; a convolution.
- n. Figuratively, a winding; a roundabout method of procedure.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The act of rolling round; the state of being rolled.
- n. A thing rolled round another.
- n. A roundabout procedure; a circumlocution.
- n. the act of turning or winding or folding around a central axis
- Middle English circumvolucioun, from Medieval Latin circumvolūtiō, circumvolūtiōn-, from Latin circumvolūtus, past participle of circumvolvere, to roll around; see circumvolve. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“circumvolution," "presentifick circularity," struggle and sprawl within the narrow room of the Spenserian stanza.”
“Heaven makes in one day and one night one complete circumvolution of 365 degrees.”
“Well, I felt queerer and queerer, and Southsea Castle began to spin round and round, and the kickers went dancing up and down, and the ships in the harbour were all turning summersets, and every sort of circumvolution and devilment you could think of took place.”
“Never did a monarch hold so steadfastly to a deadly purpose, or proceed so languidly and with so much circumvolution to his goal.”
“Its motion is one of rapid circumvolution, rather than of straightforward impulse by rapid and direct effort; it extends its orbit by small continual and hasty movements, but it does not suddenly alter its position.”
“Tell me, then, for you can, in what periphrasis of language, in what circumvolution of phrase, I shall envelope, yet not conceal, the plain story.”
“Tell me then, for you can, in what periphrasis of language, in what circumvolution of phrase, I shall envelope, yet not conceal this plain story.”
“Reason was too often prevailed upon so far by these promises, as to venture her charge within the eddy of the gulph of Intemperance, where, indeed, the circumvolution was weak, but yet interrupted the course of the vessel, and drew it, by insensible rotations, towards the centre.”
“And indeed all humane Affairs, wheresoever reported by several persons, though all were present at the same times and places of their circumvolution, are necessarily subject to some diversity in the rehearsal; one person observing, omitting, contracting, dilating, understanding, or mistaking, one particular point or part of any transaction more than another.”
“These changes in title mark the work more as a decentered network of passages inscribing a kaleidoscopic welter of images than as a polymorphic circumvolution of words as ‘conducting bodies’ — the difference erected by the change in title is exactly that between Simon’s geometric composition and Silliman’s spiraling Tjanting.”
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These words are from Samuel Richardson's novel Clarissa, Or, The History of a Young Lady, 1747-48
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