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She isn’t known for circumlocution or subtlety.
  an unnecessarily wordy (or possibly evasive, or indirect) way of saying something
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circumlocution circumlocutions
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  • She isn’t known for circumlocution or subtlety.
  • ...for I have now told you everything without an attempt at circumlocution or concealment.
    Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan  --  The Return of Sherlock Holmes
  • ...but here were many circumlocutions for the place itself [the underworld] and for the way down.
    Unknown  --  The Epic of Gilgamesh
  • She lowered her eyes, tapping out the letter, not for a moment fazed by the stark information which she knew lay embalmed beneath Hoss’s final circumlocutions: "Special Action,"
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice

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  • I gave up and put the matter baldly; I was much too tired for delicacy or circumlocutions.
    Diana Gabaldon  --  Outlander
  • "Sir," said Madame de Saint-Meran, without using any circumlocution, and as if fearing she had no time to lose, "you wrote to me concerning the marriage of this child?"
    Alexandre Dumas  --  The Count of Monte Cristo
  • I had made use of many circumlocutions in describing to him the nature of the several crimes for which most of our crew had been forced to fly their country.
    Jonathan Swift  --  Gulliver’s Travels
  • "I want to get a situation, uncle, so that I may earn some money," said Tom, who never fell into circumlocution.
    George Eliot  --  The Mill on the Floss
  • But here wee must take notice, that by a Name is not alwayes understood, as in Grammar, one onely word; but sometimes by circumlocution many words together.
    Thomas Hobbes  --  Leviathan
  • Mr. Losberne, who appeared desirous of gaining time, recounted them at great length, and with much circumlocution.
    Charles Dickens  --  Oliver Twist

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  • She had a good honest glance and used no circumlocution.
    George Eliot  --  Middlemarch
  • Servants of God, and watchers of the temple, I am here to inform you, without circumlocution : The Archbishop is in England, and is close outside the city.
    T.S. Eliot  --  Murder in the Cathedral
  • Also, without being actually positive, it struck him a great field was to be opened up in the line of opening up new routes to keep pace with the times apropos of the Fishguard-Rosslare route which, it was mooted, was once more on the tapis in the circumlocution departments with the usual quantity of red tape and dillydallying of effete fogeydom and dunderheads generally.
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
  • After sufficient cogitation he broke silence, and it certainly could not be objected that he used any needless circumlocution, or failed to speak directly to the purpose.
    Charles Dickens  --  Nicholas Nickleby
  • Congressman Efrem Walters, out of the hills of Tennessee by way of the Yale Law Review, was not to be dismissed with facile circumlocution that dealt with the esoterica of clandestine manipulations.
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Identity
  • She did not, however, put any very great pressure upon my grandmother’s sisters, for they, in their horror of vulgarity, had brought to such a fine art the concealment of a personal allusion in a wealth of ingenious circumlocution, that it would often pass unnoticed even by the person to whom it was addressed.
    Marcel Proust  --  Swann’s Way
  • There his wife, nearly twenty-six years ago, had broken to him, with a blushing circumlocution that would have caused the young women of the new generation to smile, the news that she was to have a child; and there their eldest boy, Dallas, too delicate to be taken to church in midwinter, had been christened by their old friend the Bishop of New York, the ample magnificent irreplaceable Bishop, so long the pride and ornament of his diocese.
    Edith Wharton  --  The Age of Innocence
  • I scarce ever looked towards him in public, or answered if he spoke to me when anybody was near us; but for all that, we had every now and then a little encounter, where we had room for a word or two, an now and then a kiss, but no fair opportunity for the mischief intended; and especially considering that he made more circumlocution than, if he had known by thoughts, he had occasion for; and the work appearing difficult to him, he really made it so.
    Daniel Defoe  --  Moll Flanders
  • Isabel’s aunt had told her, without circumlocution, that she had played too ingenious a part; and Madame Merle, who never quarrelled with any one, who appeared to think no one worth it, and who had performed the miracle of living, more or less, for several years with Mrs. Touchett and showing no symptom of irritation—Madame Merle now took a very high tone and declared that this was an accusation from which she couldn’t stoop to defend herself.
    Henry James  --  The Portrait of a Lady - Volumes 1 & 2
  • Too much furniture, too much room, too much emotional refinement, too many circumlocutions.
    Boris Pasternak  --  Doctor Zhivago
  • He had considered coming to the same conclusion, but not before a long and diplomatic circumlocution.
    Stieg Larsson  --  The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
  • It was a throwback to that same boring circumlocution you used both on the bench and in the classroom!
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Ultimatum
  • Both are useful words; it is impossible, not employing them, to convey the ideas behind them without circumlocution.
    Henry L. Mencken  --  The American Language
  • When it came to the forms of address, he would substitute the oddest circumlocutions—that is, if he could not slur over them entirely.
    Thomas Mann  --  The Magic Mountain
  • Don’t excuse yourself through circumlocution: You’ve already made your own resolution, And you’ve seized upon a frivolous excuse To justify this lamentable ruse.
    Jean-Baptiste Poquelin Moliere  --  Tartuffe
  • Isabel’s aunt had told her, without circumlocution, that she had played too ingenious a part; and Madame Merle, who never quarrelled with any one, who appeared to think no one worth it, and who had performed the miracle of living, more or less, for several years with Mrs. Touchett and showing no symptom of irritation—Madame Merle now took a very high tone and declared that this was an accusation from which she couldn’t stoop to defend herself.
    Henry James  --  The Portrait of a Lady - Volume 2
  • You interested?" Direct, without game, not even nickel phrases of circumlocution.
    Saul Bellow  --  The Adventures of Augie March
  • After which, he spoke of the expedition in which he was himself engaged, and intimated, though with sufficient delicacy and circumlocution, the expediency of bestowing on their relative a portion of that wisdom for which they were so renowned.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Last of the Mohicans
  • He was under Government—high in the Circumlocution Office.
    Charles Dickens  --  Little Dorrit
  • Will said, lowering his finger and closing his hands together, "I mean, to speak without circumlocution, Nick’s in jail again.
    John Gardner  --  The Sunlight Dialogues
  • Containing the whole Science of Government The Circumlocution Office was (as everybody knows without being told) the most important Department under Government.
    Charles Dickens  --  Little Dorrit
  • No public business of any kind could possibly be done at any time without the acquiescence of the Circumlocution Office.
    Charles Dickens  --  Little Dorrit
  • It was equally impossible to do the plainest right and to undo the plainest wrong without the express authority of the Circumlocution Office.
    Charles Dickens  --  Little Dorrit
  • Whatever was required to be done, the Circumlocution Office was beforehand with all the public departments in the art of perceiving—HOW NOT TO DO IT.
    Charles Dickens  --  Little Dorrit
  • All this is true, but the Circumlocution Office went beyond it.
    Charles Dickens  --  Little Dorrit
  • It was this spirit of national efficiency in the Circumlocution Office that had gradually led to its having something to do with everything.
    Charles Dickens  --  Little Dorrit
  • Numbers of people were lost in the Circumlocution Office.
    Charles Dickens  --  Little Dorrit
  • Sometimes, angry spirits attacked the Circumlocution Office.
    Charles Dickens  --  Little Dorrit
  • The Barnacle family had for some time helped to administer the Circumlocution Office.
    Charles Dickens  --  Little Dorrit
  • Mr Barnacle dated from a better time, when the country was not so parsimonious and the Circumlocution Office was not so badgered.
    Charles Dickens  --  Little Dorrit
  • The question may have been, in the course of official business, referred to the Circumlocution Department for its consideration.
    Charles Dickens  --  Little Dorrit
  • ’The Circumlocution Department,’ said Mr Barnacle, ’is not responsible for any gentleman’s assumptions.’
    Charles Dickens  --  Little Dorrit
  • How my lords then made a Minute, number five thousand one hundred and three, whereby they resigned the business to the Circumlocution Office.
    Charles Dickens  --  Little Dorrit
  • How the Circumlocution Office, being reminded that my lords had arrived at no decision, shelved the business.
    Charles Dickens  --  Little Dorrit
  • If that airy young Barnacle had been there, he would have frankly told them perhaps that the Circumlocution Office had achieved its function.
    Charles Dickens  --  Little Dorrit
  • ’I am glad to see you again, and in a healthier place than the Circumlocution Office.’
    Charles Dickens  --  Little Dorrit
  • ’You have called on me, I believe,’ said Mr Barnacle, ’at the Circumlocution—’ giving it the air of a word of about five-and-twenty syllables—’Office.’
    Charles Dickens  --  Little Dorrit
  • In short, all the business of the country went through the Circumlocution Office, except the business that never came out of it; and its name was Legion.
    Charles Dickens  --  Little Dorrit
  • It is true that How not to do it was the great study and object of all public departments and professional politicians all round the Circumlocution Office.
    Charles Dickens  --  Little Dorrit
  • It being one of the principles of the Circumlocution Office never, on any account whatever, to give a straightforward answer, Mr Barnacle said, ’Possibly.’
    Charles Dickens  --  Little Dorrit
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Associated words [difficulty]:   circumlocution [7] , circumference [3] , circumspect [3] , circumvent [5] , circumscribe [7]
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Most commonly used in these subjects:   Classic Literature, Philosophy, Logic & Reasoning
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