Definition of go (all) round the houses in English:

go (all) round the houses


  • 1Take a circuitous route to one's destination.

    • ‘‘If nobody takes personal responsibility for the claim it will just go round the houses,’ she warns.’
    • ‘Well, Andy, our feature writer Stephen Lewis went all round the houses trying to find working telephone numbers for Loadbikes and Cyclone.’
    • ‘I tried again this morning, and still couldn't access Broadband, yet the status message was saying that there were no problems, so I started going round the houses, only to be told that my migration happened yesterday.’
    • ‘Was he your first choice from the moment you wrote the script, or did you have to go round the houses a little before you came to that conclusion?’
    1. 1.1 Take an unnecessarily long time to get to the point.
      ‘a partner is likely to go all round the houses today, when it's obvious what they are hinting at’
      • ‘As my husband says I'm can't say yes I have to go round the houses first and then give an answer which means yes but doesn't feature the word yes.’
      • ‘Experts in language learning recognise the value of going round the houses a bit to avoid those aspects of a language that you have problems with.’
      • ‘If you would just like to ask your solicitor, otherwise it will be a lot of going round the houses to achieve nothing except for saving the defendant having to pay something.’
      • ‘Politicians have a penchant for going round the houses when answering tough questions.’