Definition of circumnavigation in US English:



  • 1The action or process of sailing or otherwise traveling all the way around something, especially the world.

    ‘he completed the fastest solo circumnavigation in a small vessel’
    ‘the first circumnavigation of the globe in a helicopter’
    • ‘The Beagle's circumnavigation of the globe lasted five years, from 1831 to 1836.’
    • ‘The decisive event in Elizabethan western expansion was Drake's circumnavigation voyage of 1577-1580.’
    • ‘He's led more than 30 expeditions, including the first polar circumnavigation of the earth.’
    • ‘A nonstop circumnavigation is a huge test for any skipper.’
    • ‘No doubt he will make a few new friends starting next summer on his 30-month circumnavigation of the Arctic Circle.’
    • ‘I remember watching the video diary of her lone circumnavigation around the world.’
    • ‘In the Egyptian scheme of things, a boat carrying the sun made a daily circumnavigation.’
    • ‘This is the latest leg in his third circumnavigation of the globe in 14 years.’
    • ‘He achieved his circumnavigation without any electronic aids or the assistance of modern satellite communication technology.’
    • ‘The ship conducted a counterclockwise circumnavigation of mainland Australia, with a slight detour to Christmas Island.’
    1. 1.1 The action of going around or avoiding an obstacle.
      ‘our leisurely circumnavigation of the rocks’
      • ‘There is contingency fuel on board for unforeseen changes, such as circumnavigation of bad weather or stronger headwinds.’
      • ‘The game design is such that there are no open spaces that allow for effortless circumnavigation of foes.’
      • ‘This part includes circumnavigation of obstacles by robots.’
      • ‘The streets are spared from heavy through traffic by the squares, which provide monuments on axis that require slow-speed circumnavigation.’
      • ‘Another version of the physical challenge is chair circumnavigation, which is even more painful.’
    2. 1.2 The action of avoiding something difficult or unpleasant.
      ‘a circumnavigation of the simple facts’
      • ‘Against this circumnavigation of every thought by other, rugged little thoughts, is set the grim forward march of Ahab's will.’
      • ‘One has the distinct sense of their returning to the home port after a long and uncomfortable circumnavigation of the idea of being "human."’
      • ‘They will attempt every circumnavigation of the truth rather than state a barefaced lie.’
      • ‘I need that drink to aid in the circumnavigation of uncomfortable questions.’
      • ‘How implicated is the traditional doctrine of inspiration with the circumnavigation of authority?’