Circumlocution Cir`cum*lo*cu"tion, n. [L. circumlocutio, fr. circumloqui, -locutus, to make use of circumlocution; circum + loqui to speak. See {Loquacious}.] The use of many words to express an idea that might be expressed by few; indirect or roundabout language; a periphrase. [1913 Webster]

the plain Billingsgate way of calling names . . . would save abundance of time lost by circumlocution. --Swift. [1913 Webster]

{Circumlocution office}, a term of ridicule for a governmental office where business is delayed by passing through the hands of different officials. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Circumlocution — (also called periphrasis, circumduction, circumvolution, periphrase, or ambage[1]) is an ambiguous or roundabout figure of speech. In its most basic form, circumlocution is using many words (such as a tool used for cutting things such as paper… …   Wikipedia

  • Circumlocution — (v. lat.), Umschreibung mit Worten …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • circumlocution — index indirection (indirect action) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • circumlocution — (n.) c.1400, from L. circumlocutionem (nom. circumlocutio; a loan translation of Gk. periphrasis) speaking around (the topic), from circum around (see CIRCUM (Cf. circum )) + locutionem (nom. locutio) a speaking, from stem of loqui to speak (see …   Etymology dictionary

  • circumlocution — periphrasis, pleonasm, *verbiage, redundancy, tautology Analogous words: prolixity, diffuseness, wordiness, verbosity (see corresponding adjectives at WORDY) Contrasted words: compactness (see corresponding adjectives at CLOSE): conciseness or… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • circumlocution — [n] indirect speech beating around the bush*, circumambages, diffuseness, discursiveness, euphemism, gassiness, indirectness, periphrase, periphrasis, pleonasm, prolixity, roundabout, tautology, verbal evasion, verbality, verbiage, wordiness;… …   New thesaurus

  • circumlocution — ► NOUN ▪ the use of many words where fewer would do. DERIVATIVES circumlocutory adjective. ORIGIN Latin, from circum around + loqui speak …   English terms dictionary

  • circumlocution — [sʉr΄kəmlō kyo͞o′shən] n. [ME circumlocucioun < L circumlocutio: see CIRCUM & LOCUTION] 1. a roundabout, indirect, or lengthy way of expressing something; periphrasis 2. an instance of this circumlocutory [sʉr΄kəmläk′yə tôr΄ē] adj …   English World dictionary

  • circumlocution — [[t]sɜ͟ː(r)kəmloʊkju͟ːʃ(ə)n[/t]] circumlocutions N VAR A circumlocution is a way of saying or writing something using more words than are necessary instead of being clear and direct. [FORMAL] It was always when you most wanted a direct answer… …   English dictionary

  • circumlocution — UK [ˌsɜː(r)kəmləˈkjuːʃ(ə)n] / US [ˌsɜrkəmləˈkjuʃ(ə)n] noun [countable/uncountable] Word forms circumlocution : singular circumlocution plural circumlocutions formal the use of too many words to say something, especially in order to avoid saying… …   English dictionary

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