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to beat around the bush


Choose the correct definition a, b or c.

a) to look after your garden

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b) to be unclear or ambiguous

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To beat around the bush means to be deliberately unclear in order to mislead or withhold information.

French translation

tourner autour du pot

Examples in context

’Next, when preparing your research report, don’t beat around the bush. Jonestown, despite its faux protestations that "we do not say ’fraud’ lightly", includes the words "fraud", "fraudulent", "fraudulently" or "fraudsters" no fewer than 22 times in the 10-page report, including five times on the first page alone.’

The Australian Business, Online Newspaper, 31st Jan. 2012

’The first Tegra 3 tablet is a big deal, but Asus’ Transformer Prime is the first of a myriad tablets launching in 2012 with better processors, faster GPUs and sharper screens than the iPad. I’m not going to beat around the bush, since the iPad is the King in this space, with nearly 70% market share.’

MobileSyrup.com, Online resource, 28th Jan. 2012

Everyday usage

Please stop beating around the bush and tell me what the problem is !

c) to form a mental image of something

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