mid-14c., roundeaboute, "by a circuitous route," also "on all sides, all about," from round (adv.), for which see round (adj.), + about. As an adjective, "in a ring or circle," by mid-14c. By late 15c. (Caxton) as a preposition. As an adjective from c. 1600. Noun sense of "traffic circle" is attested from 1927. It was used earlier of other things, such as "circular course or object" (1530s), "a plump, rounded figure" (1812), "a detour" (1755), "a merry-go-round" (1763). Related: Roundaboutness.
updated on October 05, 2021
Dictionary entries near roundabout