long way around

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long way around (plural long ways around)

  1. Used other than with a figurative or idiomatic meaning: see long,‎ way,‎ around.
  2. An indirect approach.
    • 1986, Frank Stella, Working Space, →ISBN, page 54:
      Acknowledging Annibale Carracci is the long way around to Rubens, but it is the route of choice because Annibale so aptly exemplifies a nagging notion we have about the difficulty of looking at painting in general and individual paintings in particular.
    • 2009, Peter Seibel, Coders at Work: Reflections on the Craft of Programming, →ISBN, page 268:
      That was the long way around of saying that I tend to use terribly crude debugging techniques with unsafe printfs.
    • 2014, Jesse Ball, Silence Once Begun, →ISBN, page 182:
      It seems that people think of simple ways to say things or know them, but I was always taking the long way around.
    • 2014, Robert W. Jenson & ‎Stephen John Wright, Theology as Revisionary Metaphysics: Essays on God and Creation, →ISBN:
      We often ask why God takes such long ways around to his stated objectives.