Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: round about



round +‎ about


  • IPA(key): /ˈɹaʊndəˌbaʊt/
  • (file)
  • (file)


roundabout (comparative more roundabout, superlative most roundabout)

  1. Indirect, circuitous, or circumlocutionary.
    • 1896, Robert Barr, From Whose Bourne, ch. 9:
      [S]he fled, running like a deer, doubling and turning through alleys and back streets until by a very roundabout road she reached her own room.
    • 1921, P. G. Wodehouse, Indiscretions of Archie, ch. 17:
      "Really, Bill, I think your best plan would be to go straight to father and tell him the whole thing.—You don't want him to hear about it in a roundabout way."
    • 2001 Dec. 3, Jim Rutenberg, "Rather Reports Another War," New York Times (retrieved 3 April 2014):
      Mr. Rather flew to the area in a roundabout fashion, first landing in Bahrain, from there flying to Islamabad and then heading to Kabul by land.
    • 2011, Golgotha Press (ed.), 50 Classic Philosophy Books, →ISBN, (Google preview):
      Descartes is compelled to fall back upon a curious roundabout argument to prove that there is a world. He must first prove that God exists, and then argue that God would not deceive us into thinking that it exists when it does not.
  2. Encircling; enveloping; comprehensive.
    • 1706, John Locke, Of the Conduct of the Understanding, item 3.3:
      The third sort is of those who readily and sincerely follow reason, but for want of having that which one may call a large, sound, roundabout sense, have not a full view of all that relates to the question.

Derived terms[edit]



roundabout (plural roundabouts)

  1. (chiefly Britain, New Zealand, Canada, Australia and sometimes US) A road junction at which traffic streams circularly around a central island.
  2. (chiefly Britain) A horizontal wheel which rotates around a central axis when pushed and on which children ride, often found in parks as a children's play apparatus.
  3. A fairground carousel.
  4. A detour.
  5. A short, close-fitting coat or jacket worn by men or boys, especially in the 19th century.
  6. (archaic) A round dance.

Usage notes[edit]

  • In North America, the use of roundabout varies by region. In some places traffic circle and rotary are more common.


Coordinate terms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]


See also[edit]