beat around the bush

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beat (about/around) the bush

To speak vaguely or euphemistically so as to avoid talking directly about an unpleasant or sensitive topic. Don't beat around the bush—just tell me the truth. Why are you beating around the bush? Are you leaving our company? The hiker had frostbite after the freezing wind beat against his cheeks for days.
See also: beat, bush

beat around the bush

 and beat about the bush
Fig. to avoid answering a question; to stall; to waste time. Stop beating around the bush and answer my question. Let's stop beating about the bush and discuss this matter.
See also: around, beat, bush

beat around the bush

Also, beat about the bush. Approach indirectly, in a roundabout way, or too cautiously. For example, Stop beating around the bush-get to the point. This term, first recorded in 1572, originally may have alluded to beating the bushes for game.
See also: around, beat, bush

beat around the bush

To speak evasively or misleadingly, or to stall or waste time. To flush pheasants and other birds so they could be shot, British gamekeepers hired beaters who would swing sticks at likely places where the birds might be lurking. Not to go directly to such foliage but to work around it instead gave the impression of wasting time or not trying very hard to raise the birds; hence, beating around the bush.
See also: around, beat, bush
References in periodicals archive ?
But let's not beat about the bush - Mercedes were the quickest car, even though they ran into their issues.
I won't beat about the bush - I have spoken with the Dutch FA," said Hiddink.
If any of the celebrities are too far up their own backsides, he won't beat about the bush.
I won't beat about the bush - my season at Chelsea went very badly.
Sympathy ''To compound that and to book Gary Cahill for simulating which, let's not beat about the bush, what he is saying is that Gary Cahill was cheating in trying to gain an advantage of a penalty, that's one thing that lad would never do.
It is convenient to start the analysis with the definition of the opposite: beat about the bush 'approach a matter cautiously, indirectly, even over-cautiously or circuitously, because it is unpleasant, embarrassing, or delicate' (Brewer, CIDE, LDOCE3).
Dear Editor, Let's not beat about the bush, this Government is neither intellectually gifted nor tough enough to make a difference where it matters - in the safety its citizens.
And let's not beat about the bush here - breathtaking graphics, an incredible unreal game engine and a revolutionary tactical combat system make this unlike anything you've ever played before.
LET'S not beat about the bush, the British and Irish Lions have been wounded severely following their first-ever defeat at the hands of the New Zealand Maori in Hamilton at the weekend.