Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To surround (an enemy, for example); enclose or entrap.
  • transitive verb To go around; bypass.
  • transitive verb To avoid or get around by artful maneuvering.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To gain advantage over by artfulness, stratagem, or deception; defeat or get the better of by cunning; get around; outwit; overreach: as, to circumvent one's enemies.
  • Synonyms See cheat.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To gain advantage over by arts, stratagem, or deception; to decieve; to delude; to get around.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive to avoid or get around something; to bypass
  • verb transitive to surround or besiege
  • verb transitive to outwit or outsmart

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb avoid or try to avoid fulfilling, answering, or performing (duties, questions, or issues)
  • verb beat through cleverness and wit
  • verb surround so as to force to give up

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English circumventen, from Latin circumvenīre, circumvent- : circum-, circum- + venīre, to go, come; see gwā- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin circum ("about") + venire ("to come")

Examples

  • And they want to kind of circumvent the will of our grassroots delegates that nominated Congressman Castle to be our endorsed candidate.

    Tea Party Sets Sights On Delaware

  • And they want to kind of circumvent the will of our grassroots delegates that nominated Congressman Castle to be our endorsed candidate.

    Tea Party Sets Sights On Delaware

  • A fine argument if there actually is a legal immigration procedure for many of those who 'circumvent' it; Which there isn't.

    Still More on Immigration, Arnold Kling | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • He posits that "the Justices were largely influenced by their attitudes on two issues: first, the degree to which Congress may 'circumvent' the Treason Clause by proscribing conduct covered by treason under a different heading and without the same procedural safeguards; and second, the degree to which the Framers intended treason prosecutions to be exceedingly rare and difficult."

    Crane on Cramer v. United States

  • JOE WYNN, VETERANS ENTERPRISE TRAINING & SERVICES: The employers don't continue to keep that position active, and so does find a way to kind of circumvent the law.

    CNN Transcript Sep 5, 2009

  • This latest gambit, he argued, was simply an attempt to "circumvent" the law.

    Actual Innocence

  • JOE WYNN, VETERANS ENTERPRISE TRAINING & SERVICES: The employers don't continue to keep that position active and so, thus, find a way to kind of circumvent the law.

    CNN Transcript Aug 31, 2009

  • This new initiative is an attempt to "circumvent" international justice, said Mahjoub Hussain, spokesman for another rebel group, the

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • Jews don't "circumvent" stuff like "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me," they just willfully reject it.

    7 new sins.

  • But, no, she is not going to kind of circumvent that by making some sort of back deal.

    CNN Transcript Jun 2, 2008

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • An opening in the front of boxer shorts. --Mensa word list winner 2006

    March 2, 2007

  • to get around

    June 19, 2007

  • In railway telegraphy, circumvent stood for the phrase "Is claimant willing to accept a less sum than the full claim in settlement?" --US Railway Association, Standard Cipher Code, 1906.

    January 21, 2013

  • verb: cleverly find a way out of one's duties or obligations

    One way of circumventing the GRE is to apply to a grad school that does not require GRE scores.

    October 19, 2016