From Latin circumlocūtiō (“the act of speaking around; circumlocution, periphrasis”). Surface analysis circum- (“around”) + locution (“talk”); see these for related terms. Probably a calque of Ancient Greek περίφρασις (períphrasis, “periphrasis”).
- (UK) IPA(key): /ˌsɜː(ɹ)kəmləˈkjuːʃən/
- (US) IPA(key): /ˌsɝɹkəmˌləˈkjuʃən/
- Rhymes: -uːʃən
- Hyphenation: cir‧cum‧lo‧cu‧tion
- A roundabout or indirect way of speaking; the use of more words than necessary to express an idea.
- A roundabout expression.
roundabout or indirect way of speaking
- beat around the bush
- go around the houses
- mince words, mince matters
- equivocation (the use of expressions susceptible of a double signification, possibly intentionally and with the aim of misleading)
- evasive (tending to avoid speaking openly or making revelations about oneself)
- prevarication (evasion of the truth; deceit, evasiveness)
- hedge (to avoid verbal commitment)
- waffle (to speak or write vaguely and evasively; to speak or write at length without any clear point or aim)