What does roundabout mean?

Definitions for roundabout
ˌraʊnd əˈbaʊt, ˈraʊnd əˌbaʊt; ˈraʊnd əˌbaʊtround·about

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word roundabout.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. traffic circle, circle, rotary, roundaboutnoun

    a road junction at which traffic streams circularly around a central island

    "the accident blocked all traffic at the rotary"

  2. carousel, carrousel, merry-go-round, roundabout, whirligigadjective

    a large, rotating machine with seats for children to ride or amusement

  3. circuitous, roundaboutadjective

    marked by obliqueness or indirection in speech or conduct

    "the explanation was circuitous and puzzling"; "a roundabout paragraph"; "hear in a roundabout way that her ex-husband was marrying her best friend"

  4. devious, circuitous, roundaboutadjective

    deviating from a straight course

    "a scenic but devious route"; "a long and circuitous journey by train and boat"; "a roundabout route avoided rush-hour traffic"


  1. roundaboutnoun

    A road junction at which traffic streams circularly around a central island

  2. roundaboutnoun

    A children's play apparatus, often found in parks, which rotates around a central axis when pushed.

  3. roundaboutnoun

    A fairground carousel.

  4. roundaboutnoun

    A detour

  5. roundaboutnoun

    A short, close-fitting coat or jacket worn by men or boys, especially in the 19th century.

  6. roundaboutadjective

    Indirect, circuitous or circumlocutionary; that does not do something in a direct way.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary


  1. Roundabout

    A roundabout (also called a traffic circle, road circle, rotary, rotunda or island) is a type of circular intersection or junction in which road traffic is permitted to flow in one direction around a central island, and priority is typically given to traffic already in the junction.Modern roundabouts observe various design rules to increase safety. Compared to stop signs, traffic signals, and earlier forms of roundabouts, modern roundabouts reduce the likelihood and severity of collisions greatly by reducing traffic speeds and minimizing T-bone and head-on collisions. Variations on the basic concept include integration with tram and/or train lines, two-way flow, higher speeds and many others. Traffic exiting the roundabout comes from one direction, rather than three, simplifying the pedestrian's visual environment. Traffic moves slowly enough to allow visual engagement with pedestrians, encouraging deference towards them. Other benefits include reduced driver confusion associated with perpendicular junctions and reduced queuing associated with traffic lights. They allow U-turns within the normal flow of traffic, which often are not possible at other forms of junction. Moreover, since vehicles that run on gasoline averagely spend less time idling at roundabouts than at signalled intersections, using a roundabout potentially leads to less pollution. When entering vehicles only need to give way, they do not always perform a full stop; as a result, by keeping a part of their momentum, the engine will produce less work to regain the initial speed, resulting in lower emissions. Research has also shown that slow moving traffic in roundabouts makes less noise than traffic that must stop and start, speed up and brake.Modern roundabouts were first standardised in the UK in 1966 and were found to be a significant improvement over previous traffic circle and rotaries. Since then they have spread and modern roundabouts are commonplace throughout the world. Half of the world's roundabouts are in France (more than 30,000 as of 2008), although the United Kingdom has more as a proportion of the road than any other country.


  1. roundabout

    A roundabout is a type of circular intersection in which traffic flows continuously in one direction around a central island. Vehicles entering the roundabout must yield to the traffic already circulating, reducing the chances of head-on or high-speed collisions. Roundabouts are designed to improve traffic flow, reduce congestion, enhance road safety and minimize the environmental impact.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Roundaboutadjective

    circuitous; going round; indirect; as, roundabout speech

  2. Roundaboutadjective

    encircling; enveloping; comprehensive

  3. Roundaboutnoun

    a horizontal wheel or frame, commonly with wooden horses, etc., on which children ride; a merry-go-round

  4. Roundaboutnoun

    a dance performed in a circle

  5. Roundaboutnoun

    a short, close jacket worn by boys, sailors, etc

  6. Roundaboutnoun

    a state or scene of constant change, or of recurring labor and vicissitude


  1. Roundabout

    A roundabout is a type of circular intersection or junction in which road traffic is slowed and flows almost continuously in one direction around a central island to several exits onto the various intersecting roads. In a modern roundabout, entering traffic must always yield to traffic already in the circle, and roundabouts have additional restrictions on the junction layout to give high safety. Elimination of the opportunity for the most deadly crashes at intersections is the greatest benefit of the roundabout design. Pedestrians are routed away from the intersection, to separate crosswalks located at least one full car length outside of the intersection, where they have a refuge between lanes of traffic. Consequently pedestrians only have to cope with traffic that is coming from one direction at a time, and which is travelling slowly enough for visual engagement with drivers, encouraging deference towards the pedestrians. Roundabouts, in their modern form, were standardised in the U.K., improving on the experience of traffic circles built in the U.S. following WWII. Modern roundabouts are now common in many countries. The word roundabout dates from the early twentieth century. In the U.S., the term traffic circle is used where entering traffic is either controlled by stop signs, traffic signals, or is not formally controlled at all and speed of vehicles may remain unchanged. The term roundabout is reserved for circular flow intersections where entering traffic must yield to traffic already in the circle, so that traffic is calmed and flow through the intersection is maximized along with the highest safety for pedestrians and cyclists. Not all modern roundabouts are strictly circular, some being elongated to include several former intersections, but the traffic always flows in a loop.

Suggested Resources

  1. roundabout

    Song lyrics by roundabout -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by roundabout on the Lyrics.com website.

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British National Corpus

  1. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'roundabout' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3718

How to pronounce roundabout?

How to say roundabout in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of roundabout in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of roundabout in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of roundabout in a Sentence

  1. Jeff Wasserstrom:

    As in recent years, even the most roundabout references to the event get censors worked up and maybe even lead to arrests, while images of a man standing before a line of tanks are shown and described in various newspapers outside the mainland, on the Chinese internet even the word' today' may be treated as subversive content.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for roundabout

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • rotonda, cavallets, carrusselCatalan, Valencian
  • nepřímý, kruhový objezdCzech
  • rundkørsel, omkørsel, karruselDanish
  • Umleitung, Karussell, KreisverkehrGerman
  • rondoplacoEsperanto
  • tiovivo, glorieta, rotonda, desvíoSpanish
  • فلکهPersian
  • karuselli, kiertoliittymä, liikenneympyrä, kiertotie, kierteleväFinnish
  • rond-point, tourniquet, giratoire, manègeFrench
  • timpeallán, timpeallán spraoi, compalIrish
  • krókóttur, króka-, óbeinn, beinn, umferðarhringur, vífilengjur, krókvegur, hringekja, hringtorg, krókaleiðIcelandic
  • rotonda, rotatoriaItalian
  • ラウンドアバウトJapanese
  • takawhawheMāori
  • рингишпил, кружен тек, вртелешка, заобиколување, обиколенMacedonian
  • bulatan, bundaranMalay
  • rundkjøringNorwegian
  • omleiding, draaimolen, rotonde, omwegDutch
  • rundkøyringNorwegian Nynorsk
  • rondo, karuzela, okrężnyPolish
  • круговой перекрёсток, кружный, окольный, непрямой, объезд, карусель, окружной, обходнойRussian
  • kružno raskršće, krugotok, kružni tokSerbo-Croatian
  • krožišče, vrtiljak, obvoz, rondoSlovene
  • indirekt, rondell, omständlig, karusell, tillkrånglad, omvägSwedish
  • karusälVolapük

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"roundabout." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 4 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/roundabout>.

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    evincing the presence of a deity
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