Definition of circumlocution in English:


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


[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'.

Definition of circumlocution in: