All Words > Circumlocution

illustration Circumlocution



Part of speech: noun

Origin: Latin, 16th century


Using more words than necessary to express a thought


An indirect expression

Examples of Circumlocution in a sentence

"His drawn-out speech was not only boring, but it was pure circumlocution and made no real points."

"His attempt at circumlocution didn’t fool his mother when she asked where he was last night."

About Circumlocution

"Circumlocution" is a fairly direct translation from Latin: "circum" = around, and "locution" = talk. When a speaker is in the midst of circumlocution they’re circling around their point and using too many words. This could be a sign of deception or just a symptom of not knowing when to be quiet.

Did you Know?

Maybe you’re nervous, or maybe you’re trying to avoid giving a direct answer. Whatever the reason, if you’re “beating around the bush” you’re practicing circumlocution. Using that phrase would also be circumlocution — why use an idiom when there’s a perfectly good word?

illustration Circumlocution

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