Circumvent Versus Circumnavigate

To go around in different ways.

Mignon Fogarty
1-minute read

Circumvent Versus Circumnavigate


"Circumvent' and "circumnavigate" both start with the prefix " circum-," which comes from the Latin word "circum," which means "around."

“Circumvent” means to go around or bypass something; to avoid it.

“Circumnavigate” means to sail or fly around something.

So both "circumvent" and "circumnavigate" mean "to go around," but "circumvent" means to go around in a way that you avoid something, and "circumnavigate" means to go around in way that you experience, explore, or travel through or over something.

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About the Author

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder of Quick and Dirty Tips and the author of seven books on language, including the New York Times bestseller "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing." She is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame, and the show is a five-time winner of Best Education Podcast in the Podcast Awards. She has appeared as a guest expert on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Today Show. Her popular LinkedIn Learning courses help people write better to communicate better.