Definition of roundabout in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈraʊndəbaʊt/


1British A road junction at which traffic moves in one direction round a central island to reach one of the roads converging on it: turn right at the next roundabout
More example sentences
  • The British influence still can be seen in driving on the left side of the road, roundabouts, speed bumps, and school uniforms.
  • There were 80 Gardai deployed at a roundabout on the Navan Road on Friday morning to move Travellers off the thoroughfare.
  • The park can also be reached from the M1 by taking the Santry road at the airport roundabout and passing through three sets of traffic lights.
North American  rotary, traffic circle
2British A large revolving device in a playground, for children to ride on.
Example sentences
  • The play park lies unused, the swings swing limply in the breeze, the raison d' être of the roundabout remains unfulfilled.
  • She had cringed at the wheeze of the roundabout as it winded to a stop.
  • A couple of swings, a slide and two indentations in the ground where there used to be some roundabouts were all that was left.
2.1A merry-go-round.
Example sentences
  • Drinkers can gaze into distorting mirrors, try out the dodgems or roundabouts or have their fortunes read.
  • The rule has been applied to water, fire, gas, electricity, chemicals, explosions, fumes, flag-poles, fairground roundabouts, and even gypsies.
merry-go-round, carousel
archaic whirligig


1Not following a short direct route; circuitous: we need to take a roundabout route to throw off any pursuit
More example sentences
  • She shook her head angrily but followed a roundabout route to Raban's shop.
  • My chief of staff selected this roundabout route to throw the news media off our trail.
  • Congestion may also be heavier on some routes into town, particularly on more direct roads, than on other routes, such as roundabout routes through neighborhood and city streets.
circuitous, indirect, meandering, winding, serpentine, tortuous
rare anfractuous
1.1Not saying what is meant clearly and directly; circumlocutory: in a roundabout way, he was fishing for information
More example sentences
  • He does not explicate this roundabout reference to circumcision.
  • Wendy spent the next few minutes explaining what went on over the weekend in roundabout and, shall we say, not totally accurate terms.
  • It's clear that he is locked in his own world now, from his careful - and almost always roundabout - way of answering questions to the faint, humbled tone with which he speaks.
indirect, oblique, circuitous, circumlocutory, periphrastic;
meandering, discursive, digressive, long-winded;
rare circumlocutionary, ambagious

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: round|about

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