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1. The use of unnecessarily wordy language, especially in being vague or evasive.
2. A roundabout or evasive expression: Circumlocutions like "go to the bathroom" are often used in place of words that are considered vulgar or indelicate.

[Middle English circumlocucioun, from Latin circumlocūtiō, circumlocūtiōn-, from circumlocūtus, past participle of circumloquī : circum-, circum- + loquī, to speak; see tolkw- in Indo-European roots.]

cir′cum·loc′u·to′ri·ly (-lŏk′yə-tôr′ə-lē) adv.
cir′cum·loc′u·to′ry (-tôr′ē) adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.circumlocutory - roundabout and unnecessarily wordycircumlocutory - roundabout and unnecessarily wordy; "had a preference for circumlocutious (or circumlocutory) rather than forthright expression"; "A periphrastic study in a worn-out poetical fashion,/ Leaving one still with the intolerable wrestle/ With words and meanings."-T.S.Eliot; (`ambagious' is archaic)
indirect - extended senses; not direct in manner or language or behavior or action; "making indirect but legitimate inquiries"; "an indirect insult"; "doubtless they had some indirect purpose in mind"; "though his methods are indirect they are not dishonest"; "known as a shady indirect fellow"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


adjweitschweifig; expressionumschreibend
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
References in periodicals archive ?
The Indian counsel, in his circumlocutory submission, however, did not address the fundamental questions Pakistan had raised in the ICJ.
The Constitution is best described as "circumlocutory" or "pleonastic." Some provisions are "circumbendibus." This is aggravated by the use of technical or ambiguous words pliable or dimensional in meanings and without accepted legal connotations.
Felce expertly explains Morris's attempts to employ not only the words of his source text but the principles of their craft, using both drottvaett verse forms and kennings, a form of circumlocutory metaphor that even for medieval Icelanders would have required interpretation.
In his "Foreword", he shunned the circumlocutory language of the Karachi resolution for a more categorical enunciation of the still evolving Muslim goal, asserting that:
The prose is dense, circumlocutory and unappealing.
On the one hand, these backstage cultures can be positive through providing a basis for sense-making, a 'circumlocutory' means of communication, an opportunity for rapid improvements, and reinforcing group solidarity.
TEHRAN (FNA)- The US government is in its deadliest form of denial in Iraq and it is as always in the weasel circumlocutory jargon which distorts and evades, and seldom stands up to reality and the rule of International Law.
For someone who's selfadmittedly argumentative, he revels in pithy, one-line put-downs (the best of which is, sadly, far too crude to repeat) while at the same time giving way to circumlocutory tales that bounce seamlessly from breastfeeding to Nigel Farage, the Green Party, and then back again.
For someone who's self-admittedly argumentative, he revels in pithy, oneline put-downs (the best of which is, sadly, far too crude to repeat) while at the same time giving way to circumlocutory There's an endearing honesty and frankness to the 43-year-old Irishman's show that doesn't just peak at the usual | Ciaran Jones
With authors awarding Jay Gatsby honors as most famous fictional individual, journalists jokingly brought up Wright's circumlocutory stylings.
The novel's style follows the cadence and circumlocutory grammar of the Gaelic speaker of English, but includes Gaelic words.