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I need a word for walking around something.

Is "to circumvent something" a common term for walking around a barrier?

  • It depends on what type of barrier. – Nathan Tuggy Jul 8 '15 at 15:35
  • It could be a fence, an overturned tree, steep slope or dense vegetation that could not be passed... – parallax Jul 8 '15 at 16:07
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    Why? walk around is fine and commonly used. – user3169 Jul 8 '15 at 17:18
  • ok, but when can I use circumvent? – parallax Jul 8 '15 at 17:37
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    @parallax : circumvent is typically used figuratively, in a sense of "avoiding" something, Example: You circumvent a rule or law, if you find a loophole so that you can do it nevertheless. The literally use is possible and valid, but may sound stilted. "Walk around" an object is perfectly fine. – Stephie Jul 8 '15 at 19:52
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The word circumvent is not so common in this situation. As user3169 said, using walk around is commonly used and works fine. You could use go around which is more casual.

You can also use these words in more formal situations:

  • circumnavigate
  • bypass
  • I guess you could use circumnavigate (at least, that's what the dictionary says), but I usually associate that word with Magellan, not walking around a puddle or fallen tree. – J.R. Jul 9 '15 at 0:06

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