circumvent

To circumvent is to avoid. Someone who trains elephants but somehow gets out of picking up after them has found a way to circumvent the cleaning of the circus tent.

Circum in Latin means "around" or "round about," and vent- comes from venire, "to come," but painting a picture from these two parts of the word helps. Picture someone circling around a barrier instead of climbing over it. That's what you do when you circumvent. You find a smart way around rules or barriers, or avoid doing something unpleasant altogether.

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: circumvent

1
v
surround so as to force to give up
2
v
avoid or try to avoid fulfilling, answering, or performing (duties, questions, or issues)
3
v
beat through cleverness and wit
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: circumvent
1

v surround so as to force to give up

Synonyms:
beleaguer, besiege, hem in, surround
Types:
blockade, seal off
impose a blockade on
ebb
hem in fish with stakes and nets so as to prevent them from going back into the sea with the ebb
Type of:
assail, attack
launch an attack or assault on; begin hostilities or start warfare with
2

v avoid or try to avoid fulfilling, answering, or performing (duties, questions, or issues)

Synonyms:
dodge, duck, elude, evade, fudge, hedge, parry, put off, sidestep, skirt
Types:
beg
dodge, avoid answering, or take for granted
quibble
evade the truth of a point or question by raising irrelevant objections
Type of:
avoid
stay clear from; keep away from; keep out of the way of someone or something
3

v beat through cleverness and wit

Synonyms:
beat, outfox, outsmart, outwit, overreach
beat, beat out, crush, shell, trounce, vanquish
come out better in a competition, race, or conflict
Type of:
exceed, outdo, outgo, outmatch, outperform, outstrip, surmount, surpass
be or do something to a greater degree
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