circumstantial

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin circumstantia + -al.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

circumstantial (comparative more circumstantial, superlative most circumstantial)

  1. Pertaining to or dependent on circumstances, especially as opposed to essentials; incidental, not essential.
    • Sharp
      We must therefore distinguish between the essentials in religious worship [] and what is merely circumstantial.
  2. Abounding with circumstances; detailing or exhibiting all the circumstances; minute; particular.
    • 1806, James Wilkinson, Letter to Thomas Jefferson (October 21, 1806) (part of Burr conspiracy)
      For although my information appears too direct and circumstantial to be fictitious, yet the magnitude of the enterprise, the desperation of the plan, and the stupendous consequences with which it seems pregnant, stagger my belief []
    • 2007, John Burrow, A History of Histories, Penguin 2009, p. 326:
      Second-hand but clearly from the best possible source - the King himself - [the story] is highly circumstantial, taking twenty-two pages of text.
  3. Full of circumstance or pomp; ceremonial.

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

circumstantial (plural circumstantials)

  1. (chiefly in the plural) Something incidental to the main subject, but of less importance.
    the circumstantials of religion

Antonyms[edit]