1. Being or taking a roundabout, lengthy course: took a circuitous route to avoid the accident site.
2. Characterized by indirectness, evasiveness, or complexity, as in action or language: a circuitous method of inquiry; a circuitous argument.
[From Medieval Latin circuitōsus, from Latin circuitus, a going around; see CIRCUIT.]
cir·cui·ty, cir·cui·tous·ness n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.