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circumlocution Line breaks: cir¦cum|lo¦cu|tion
Pronunciation: /ˌsəːkəmləˈkjuːʃ(ə)n/

Definition of circumlocution in English:


[mass noun]
The use of many words where fewer would do, especially in a deliberate attempt to be vague or evasive: his admission came after years of circumlocution [count noun]: he used a number of poetic circumlocutions
More example sentences
  • Large bureaucracies seem to inherently foster a culture that favours circumlocution, jargon and euphemism.
  • A certain kind of Briton prefers circumlocution and euphemism for even everyday speech: ‘I wonder if I could trouble you for a glass of water?’
  • In order to refer to that activity, it is necessary to engage in circumlocution or periphrasis.
informal beating about the bush


Late Middle English: from Latin circumlocutio(n-) (translating Greek periphrasis), from circum 'around' + locutio(n-) from loqui 'speak'.

Words that rhyme with circumlocution

ablution, absolution, allocution, attribution, circumvolution, Confucian, constitution, contribution, convolution, counter-revolution, destitution, dilution, diminution, distribution, electrocution, elocution, evolution, execution, institution, interlocution, irresolution, Lilliputian, locution, perlocution, persecution, pollution, prosecution, prostitution, restitution, retribution, Rosicrucian, solution, substitution, volution
Definition of circumlocution in:
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