Definition of beat about the bush in English:

beat about the bush


  • Discuss a matter without coming to the point:

    ‘he never beat about the bush when something was annoying him’
    • ‘Using research compiled last February in student focus groups, Bank of Ireland was told to stop beating about the bush with gimmicks and be more direct in asking for students' business.’
    • ‘But no more beating about the bush, I'll just come right out with it.’
    • ‘He doesn't beat about the bush, as I'm barely through the door before he starts speaking.’
    • ‘There is no need to beat about the bush when talking to children - you can be more direct with them than you might think.’
    • ‘So, without any further beating about the bush, I present this week's question.’
    • ‘From there, the play got deeper, darker and, let's not beat about the bush, much, much more watchable.’
    • ‘There is no point in being ambiguous or beating about the bush.’
    • ‘Let's not beat about the bush, the sort of people who drop litter are the sort who do not usually give a damn about anybody or anything.’
    • ‘But then everybody must stop beating about the bush and tell it like it is.’
    • ‘‘I don't think we ought to beat about the bush,’ he joked.’
    prevaricate, vacillate, dodge the issue, evade the issue, be non-committal, hedge, hedge one's bets, quibble, parry questions, fudge the issue, mince one's words, stall, shilly-shally, hesitate
    hum and haw
    pussyfoot around, waffle, flannel, sit on the fence, duck the question
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