circumlocution

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n circumlocution an indirect way of expressing something
    • n circumlocution a style that involves indirect ways of expressing things
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Circumlocution The use of many words to express an idea that might be expressed by few; indirect or roundabout language; a periphrase. "the plain Billingsgate way of calling names . . . would save abundance of time lost by circumlocution ."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n circumlocution A roundabout way of speaking; an indirect mode of statement; particularly, a studied indirectness or evasiveness of language in speaking or writing.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Circumlocution sėr-kum-lō-kū′shun roundabout speaking: a manner of expression in which many unnecessary words are used
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. circumlocutio, fr. circumloqui, -locutus, to make use of circumlocution; circum, + loqui, to speak. See Loquacious
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. loqui, locutus, to speak.

Usage

In literature:

He endeavored, by all sorts of circumlocutions, to hide from Brand the real drift of his inquiry.
"Sunrise" by William Black
She even, without circumlocution, made an appointment with him for the next day.
"Bohemians of the Latin Quarter" by Henry Murger
Pray proceed, without further circumlocution, for my time is valuable.
"The Triumphs of Eugène Valmont" by Robert Barr
It is better to tell her so without circumlocution.
"Napoleon and the Queen of Prussia" by L. Mühlbach,
He had once been town agent in the Circumlocution Office, and was well-to-do.
"Character Sketches of Romance, Fiction and the Drama" by E. Cobham Brewer
All your circumlocution and your fine words are simply an additional insult.
"The Nabob, Vol. 2 (of 2)" by Alphonse Daudet
The "Sydney Duck" is not given to sentiment or circumlocution.
"The Flag of Distress" by Mayne Reid
He was an ardent politician and hated the English virulently, telling me so with curious circumlocutions.
"A Tramp's Notebook" by Morley Roberts
Nobody at home has yet any adequate idea, I am deplorably sure, of what the Barnacles and the Circumlocution Office have done for us.
"The Life of Charles Dickens, Vol. I-III, Complete" by John Forster
Dick of the Syke was not to be beaten for lack of the logic of circumlocution.
"A Son of Hagar" by Sir Hall Caine
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In news:

So here are a few circumlocutions, or wordy phrases, that seem particularly ascendant.
Propagandistic language marked by euphemism, circumlocution, and the inversion of customary meanings: double-talk.
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In science:

To avoid cumbersome circumlocutions, in the rest of this paper, we call leaf the pair “standard leaf + its neighbor”.
Core percolation in random graphs: a critical phenomena analysis
It will avoid annoying circumlocutions about equivalence via root invariant isometries if we work with particular class representatives for T ∗ and T , and, moreover, suppose that T ∗ is embedded in T .
Rayleigh processes, real trees, and root growth with re-grafting
An XBONG? Nope, you’ll have to ask for it by circumlocution - extra nuclear dust in plane hides emission lines (Rigby et al. 2006).
Astrophysics in 2006
We have reached a stage where from an astronomer’s point of view, the circumlocution “massive dark ob ject” seems unnecessarily cautious.
The AGN/Normal Galaxy Connection : Summary
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