Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “circumlocution”


noun [C or U] uk   /ˌsɜː.kəm.ləˈkjuː.ʃən/ us    /ˌsɝː-/ formal
(an example of) an indirect way of saying something, especially something unpleasant: "Economical with the truth" is a circumlocution for "lying". Politicians are experts in circumlocution.Digressing and being indirect or evasiveMoving in order to avoid contactNot saying much
adjective uk   /-tər.i/ us    /-t̬ɚ.i/
(Definition of circumlocution from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of circumlocution?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Translations of “circumlocution”

Word of the Day


to press something quickly and quite hard between two objects, especially sharp objects such as teeth or nails

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More