Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

in a roundabout way

in a roundabout waya roundabout way
Meaning(s)
1) to say or do something in an indirect way
  • How to MemorizePopularity MediumProfessional MediumSocial
    • say something in a roundabout way
  • Analysis
    When you say something 'in a roundabout way' it means to do something indirectly or to imply - rather than ask directly for what you need. If you do something 'in a roundabout way' it usually refers to doing something in a way that is not very efficient, or in a way that is more complicated than it needs to be. You might do something or say something in a roundabout way in order to be more polite, or because there were many constraints or obstacles preventing you from taking the most direct cause of action.
  • Social Examples (Advance)
    1. In asking the public to buy raffle tickets or participate in competitions, we are asking them to donate money to us in a roundabout way.
    2. He didn't exactly say I could borrow the car but he did imply it, in a sort of roundabout way.
  • Professional Examples (Advance)
    1. By allowing petrol companies to sponsor our projects we are contributing to the destruction of the planet in a roundabout way that we need to be accountable for.
    2. The legislation is fairly prohibitive but there is a chance we may be able to get permission if we go about it in a roundabout way.
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