to beat around the bush

Idiom Definition

"to beat around the bush"

to not speak directly to the most important issue of the moment;

to speak of many things that are related to the most important issue of the moment but never actually talk about the most important issue

Idiom Definition - beat around the bush


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - beat around the bush

A husband and wife are talking shortly after the husband has arrived home from the office ...

Wife:  How was your day?

Husband:  Pretty good.  You remember I was telling you about that big project we've been working on?

Wife:  Yes. And?

Husband:  You remember how I told you that most of the work is overseas?

Wife:  Yes.  And?

Husband:  You remember I told you that there could be some travel involved with this project?

Wife:  Stop beating around the bush and just tell me!

Husband:  I need to take a two week business trip starting tomorrow.

Wife:  What?

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - beat around the bush

A man is sitting in his doctor's office after having taken a series of tests ...

Man:  Well, Doc.  What did the tests reveal?

Doctor:  Before we talk about that, let me tell you that new treatments are being discovered every day.

Man:  OK?

Doctor:  There are even a few clinical trials starting soon.

Man:  And?

Doctor:  You may want a second opinion.

Man:  Doctor.  Please don't beat around the bush any longer.  Tell me what's wrong with me!

Doctor:  You have a serious form of cancer.  Your life expectancy is less than six months.

to beat around the bush - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   565   click for frequency by country

to beat around the bush - Gerund Form:

Beating around the bush can be a method of continuing a conversation while you gain the courage to speak about an important issue.

to beat around the bush - Examples:

1)  He doesn't' beat around the bush' and go off topic, he gets straight to the point.

2)  I fit the profile for the average attendee (let's not beat around the bush, that means: young + white + male).

3)  Intellectuals and their entourages like to beat around the bush endlessly.

4)  I love reading Russian opinions about abortion. Because they don't beat around the bush.

5)  Don't beat around the bush, as it frustrates the other person. Keep it short.

6)  Let us not beat around the bush here. Boys are less gullible than girls.

7)  It seems like we have tried to soften the blows and beat around the bush forever and he just isn't getting that his mouth needs to shut off.

8)  If you're asked a question, answer it. Don't beat around the bush, and don't give stupid canned answers.

9)  Be kind. Don't be too abrupt, but don't beat around the bush.

10)  You can always evolve, but that doesn't mean you beat around the bush aimlessly without a clear sense of purpose.

11)  Remember when your math professor loved to beat around the bush? Made you pretty anxious and lose interest, right?

12)  They don't beat around the bush. ' That was dumb,' they would say.

13)  How refreshing. A politician who doesn't beat around the bush.

14)  I won't beat around the bush: your essay upset me.

15)  I won't even beat around the bush or try to gloss over anything.

16)  Don't beat around the bush, but do try to be compassionate.

17)  Also, don't beat around the bush, get straight to it.

18)  I am not one to beat around the bush, so God was pretty straight forward with me!

19)  Also I don't understand why you beat around the bush instead of just calling this kind of work what it is.

20)  This is not a time to beat around the bush. You need to let your boss know what the problem is.