indirect

indirect, circuitous, roundabout are comparable when applied to ways, routes, or means with the meaning not leading by a straight path to a destination or goal.
Indirect basically implies departure from the straight and short line between two points
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by what bypaths and indirect crooked ways I met this crown— Shak.

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In its extended uses indirect implies following a course that is not plain, obvious, explicit, or straightforward
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Jane's mother was making indirect but perfectly legitimate inquiries into his prospects— Mary Austin

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indirect taxation

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we have seen grow up ... a whole new family of subtle, indirect influences— Kefauver

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man's possible development from non-Homo stock, must be based upon indirect evidence— R. W. Murray

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Circuitous implies not only indirection but usually a winding and, because of its length, slow way or course
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they were forced to take a circuitous route on account of the floods

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two lines possible—the one direct by sea, the other circuitous through Gaul— Mahan

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paths . . . more circuitous, but not less sure duly to reach the point marked out by Heaven— Wordsworth

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in speech and in action most Japanese are indirect and circuitousBuchanan

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Roundabout may be used interchangeably with circuitous, but specifically it implies a following of a more or less circular or semicircular course from one point to another; the term more often than indirect or circuitous, especially in its extended use, implies deliberate, often blameworthy evasion or avoidance of the direct course or way
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take a roundabout course to one's destination

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a roundabout explanation

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the roundabout, diffident appeal for pity— Day Lewis

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she declared that she would have nothing to do with any roundabout ways, but go openly and instantly to law— Burney

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Analogous words: devious, oblique, *crooked: *winding, sinuous, tortuous
Antonyms: direct: forthright, straightforward

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • indirect — indirect, e [ ɛ̃dirɛkt ] adj. • 1416; lat. indirectus ♦ Qui n est pas direct. 1 ♦ Qui n est pas en ligne droite, qui fait un ou plusieurs détours. ⇒ courbe, détourné. Itinéraire indirect. Éclairage indirect, qui éclaire par réflexion sur les… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • indirect — INDIRÉCT, Ă, indirecţi, te, adj. 1. (Adesea adverbial) Care nu este direct, care se produce, apare sau se obţine prin mijlocirea cuiva sau a ceva. 2. (lingv.; în sintagmele) Stil indirect sau vorbire indirectă = procedeu sintactic de redare a… …   Dicționar Român

  • indirect — indirect, ecte (in di rèkt, rèk t ; voy. DIRECT, pour la prononciation de la finale) adj. 1°   Qui n est pas direct. Chemin indirect. 2°   Fig. Qui suit une voie détournée. Avis indirect. Moyens indirects.    Louanges indirectes, celles qu on… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Indirect — In di*rect , a. [Pref. in not + direct: cf. F. indirect.] [1913 Webster] 1. Not direct; not straight or rectilinear; deviating from a direct line or course; circuitous; as, an indirect road. [1913 Webster] 2. Not tending to an aim, purpose, or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • indirect — I Adjective allusive, ambagious, backhanded, circuitous, circumambulating, circumlocutory, covert, crooked, desultory, deviating, deviatory, devious, devius, digressing, digressive, excursive, hidden, implicit, labyrinthine, meandering, non… …   Law dictionary

  • indirect — UK US /ˌɪndɪˈrekt/ adjective ► not done or communicated in a direct way: »We decided to take an indirect approach to tackling the problem of absenteeism. »He made only an indirect reference to what had happened at the meeting. ► happening in… …   Financial and business terms

  • indirect — [in΄də rekt′; ] occas. [, in΄dīrekt′] adj. [ME < ML indirectus] not direct; specif., a) not straight; deviating; roundabout b) not straight to the point, or to the person or thing aimed at [an indirect reply] c) not straightforward; not fair… …   English World dictionary

  • indirect — (adj.) late 14c., from M.Fr. indirect (14c.) or directly from L.L. indirectus, from in not, opposite of (see IN (Cf. in ) (1)) + directus (see DIRECT (Cf. direct)). Related: Indirectness …   Etymology dictionary

  • indirect — Indirect, [indir]ecte. adj. Qui n est pas direct. Il n a point d usage au propre. Fig. Voyes indirectes, Se dit en mauvaise part, pour de mauvais moyens. Il est parvenu à cette charge par des voyes indirectes. On appelle aussi figur. Loüanges… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Indirect — (v. lat.), nicht geradezu, mittelbar, durch einen Dritten …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

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