Definition of roundabout in English:



  • 1A road junction at which traffic moves in one direction round a central island to reach one of the roads converging on it.

    ‘turn right at the next roundabout’
    • ‘Hussain said that 2,000 date palms and 15,000 coconut trees transported from the interior of Sindh had been planted along major roads and roundabouts in the city.’
    • ‘Some of the country's main thoroughfares converge at the busy Naas Road roundabout next to the Red Cow Inn.’
    • ‘Then he went round the roundabout, came back down the road and pulled in.’
    • ‘Their protest consisted of driving in convoy very slowly round and round the approach roundabouts to the Airport, thus creating massive traffic congestion and denying access to legitimate users.’
    • ‘He switched off the hazard lights, looked briefly over his shoulder and started up again, taking the right turn off the roundabout.’
    • ‘When it's wet, great care is needed at roundabouts, as it's easy to get the back of this rear-wheel drive vehicle trying to overtake the front.’
    • ‘It would be very sensitive to the outlying area, with an entry point on either end of town that had roundabouts that would slow traffic.’
    • ‘Gearing down for corners, junctions and roundabouts starts off as a novel experience with the Sentronic, and quickly becomes efficient second nature.’
    • ‘‘More and more mysterious,’ Denise said, smiling, and took the exit from the roundabout for the motorway.’
    • ‘The park can also be reached from the M1 by taking the Santry road at the airport roundabout and passing through three sets of traffic lights.’
    • ‘By road it can take as little as one hour to reach the M50 roundabout on the N6, but from there traffic is very slow during peak hours.’
    • ‘It is quite often difficult to determine who is at fault in relation to accidents which occur on roundabouts.’
    • ‘In Borken's messily vital urban context of supermarkets, small houses and traffic roundabouts, the bank's simple Euclidean form is a reassuringly calm, rooted presence.’
    • ‘Darcy had warned me in the note: Run like mad upon reaching the roundabout at Toll and Brooks.’
    • ‘We find a small office space up three flights of dusty stairs in a building overlooking a big roundabout.’
    • ‘The only exception to the priority of trams is at the Red Cow roundabout where traffic lights will regulate all traffic, including the trams.’
    • ‘The British influence still can be seen in driving on the left side of the road, roundabouts, speed bumps, and school uniforms.’
    • ‘Its curve addresses the traffic roundabout that has replaced the urban square as the focus of civic life.’
    • ‘Always remember to look to your right, not left, mind the roundabouts and stay to your left.’
    • ‘There were 80 Gardai deployed at a roundabout on the Navan Road on Friday morning to move Travellers off the thoroughfare.’
    rotary, traffic circle
    View synonyms
  • 2A large revolving device in a playground, for children to ride on.

    • ‘A couple of swings, a slide and two indentations in the ground where there used to be some roundabouts were all that was left.’
    • ‘The play park lies unused, the swings swing limply in the breeze, the raison d' être of the roundabout remains unfulfilled.’
    • ‘Considering the amount we're saving on the swings by doing it ourselves, we can afford to spend a little extra on the roundabouts.’
    • ‘She had cringed at the wheeze of the roundabout as it winded to a stop.’
    1. 2.1A merry-go-round.
      • ‘Drinkers can gaze into distorting mirrors, try out the dodgems or roundabouts or have their fortunes read.’
      • ‘The rule has been applied to water, fire, gas, electricity, chemicals, explosions, fumes, flag-poles, fairground roundabouts, and even gypsies.’
      merry-go-round, carousel
      View synonyms


  • 1Not following a short direct route; circuitous.

    ‘we need to take a roundabout route to throw off any pursuit’
    • ‘Well, that must be why we took the roundabout route tonight.’
    • ‘She was having such fun, so much that she all but forgot that Terel was following her on her roundabout joyride against the wind.’
    • ‘Letters from relatives on the Continent became a rarity; those that did reach British shores had usually travelled a roundabout route via neutral nations.’
    • ‘She shook her head angrily but followed a roundabout route to Raban's shop.’
    • ‘Sara made for it in a roundabout way to give them a little time to prepare for her, trying to seem as non-threatening as possible.’
    • ‘Congestion may also be heavier on some routes into town, particularly on more direct roads, than on other routes, such as roundabout routes through neighborhood and city streets.’
    • ‘I guess I took a roundabout route to it unconsciously.’
    • ‘There was still a small chance they might be discovered - very small since they were taking a very roundabout route - but there was still that chance.’
    • ‘I had watched from the Citadel as the procession made its way on a roundabout route through the streets of Mainport.’
    • ‘She decided not to take the route through the village but to walk the roundabout way along the forest's edge in order to not having to see the horror any more.’
    • ‘I leave in the direction of the toilets but instead start making the roundabout way to Jeremy's room.’
    • ‘Where are the two of you taking me in some sort of roundabout way?’
    • ‘As it was another pleasant, starlit evening, her hair hung loose to dry in the ocean-scented breeze and she took a roundabout route to the amphitheater.’
    • ‘She entered the lingerie shop, idly browsing and refusing assistance from a saleswoman, taking a roundabout route towards the target.’
    • ‘My chief of staff selected this roundabout route to throw the news media off our trail.’
    • ‘I trudged down a roundabout route to the hut, my head down, a desperate desire to cry in my eyes.’
    • ‘Anna checked out the window again just to make sure that they weren't taking some really roundabout route to the school.’
    • ‘Taking the roundabout route means the train can stop at a dozen additional railway stations in Hubei Province.’
    circuitous, indirect, meandering, winding, serpentine, tortuous
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Not saying what is meant clearly and directly; circumlocutory.
      ‘in a roundabout way, he was fishing for information’
      • ‘It was a roundabout apology but I took what I could.’
      • ‘Rather than just saying this directly, Thai people tend to go the roundabout route.’
      • ‘Wendy spent the next few minutes explaining what went on over the weekend in roundabout and, shall we say, not totally accurate terms.’
      • ‘They'd never actually done any of the sorts of things suggested in the letter, although she had brought the subject up, in a roundabout way.’
      • ‘This essay will suggests in roundabout ways, that this could be as difficult for ‘them’ as for ‘us’.’
      • ‘Li smiled, acknowledging that his roundabout dialogue had been recognised, unwound and interpreted.’
      • ‘This is his extremely roundabout way of saying that he wasn't waiting for some kind of rock revival to make his comeback; if anything, he's reacting against it.’
      • ‘A casual roundabout answer came from the balding man.’
      • ‘That famous voice is never more honeyed than when it's saying - in a courteous, roundabout way - ‘No.’’
      • ‘It's clear that he is locked in his own world now, from his careful - and almost always roundabout - way of answering questions to the faint, humbled tone with which he speaks.’
      • ‘That's what I've been trying to get to in my roundabout way.’
      • ‘In a roundabout way, I did answer his question with a ‘no.’’
      • ‘In a roundabout way we come back to the problem I had with it.’
      • ‘An imaginative translator must explore ways, even if roundabout, to recreate the effect of the original in the language into which it is translated.’
      • ‘Anyway, this is just a roundabout way of saying that, while I'm personally delighted to be here, I also appreciate the larger gesture that the invitation represents.’
      • ‘In fact, James's essay on habit may be read as a roundabout critique of late nineteenth-century aestheticism, a movement closely related to a modernism of heightened sensory experience.’
      • ‘It slowly dawned on me that this was what he was trying to determine, in his roundabout way: whether I liked the boy-leader or not.’
      • ‘This is only a roundabout way of saying that the score for the film sounded like elevator muzak.’
      • ‘However, privileged access to positive externalities is merely a roundabout way of saying that opportunities are unequal.’
      • ‘He does not explicate this roundabout reference to circumcision.’
      indirect, oblique, circuitous, circumlocutory, periphrastic
      View synonyms