Definition of circumvent in English:


Line breaks: cir¦cum|vent
Pronunciation: /səːkəmˈvɛnt


[with object]
  • 1Find a way around (an obstacle): if you come to an obstruction in a road you can seek to circumvent it
    More example sentences
    • However, those inventive motorcyclists have managed to circumvent the obstacle.
    • He has gained a few moves in his repertoire, allowing him to circumvent obstacles.
    • We broke the law on a weekly basis, when we circumvented the army's roadblocks in the roads.
  • 1.1Overcome (a problem or difficulty) in a clever and surreptitious way: it was always possible to circumvent the regulations
    More example sentences
    • To circumvent a possible problem of low data number, we pooled the observed and expected values for the three transposon families.
    • This is not a very realistic assumption but it makes it possible to circumvent the problem of determining the optimal amount of reserves.
    • Clever strategists that we were, we decided to circumvent this problem or objection by presenting a symposium rather than submitting independent papers.
  • 2 archaic Deceive; outwit: he’s circumvented her with some of his stories



More example sentences
  • To be sure, credit bubbles are all about the circumvention, obstruction, impairment, and eventual breakdown of the market pricing mechanism.
  • The portrait I have been describing is special not only for its circumvention of convention, but also because it belongs to a certain class of postcards known as ‘real photo’ postcards.
  • We take any circumvention of immigration control very seriously.


late Middle English: from Latin circumvent- 'skirted around', from the verb circumvenire, from circum 'around' + venire 'come'.

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