Beat around the bush

Team English -
Created by: Team English -, Last Updated: April 26, 2024

Beat around the bush

Discover the art of subtle conversation with the idiom “Beat Around the Bush.” This comprehensive guide demystifies the origins, meanings, and appropriate usage of this popular expression. Peppered with engaging sentence examples and practical tips, this is your go-to resource for mastering the art of indirect dialogue.

What is the Beat around the Bush Idiom? – Definition

In simple English, “Beat Around the Bush” refers to the act of avoiding the main issue or topic, generally by talking about less relevant or tangential matters.

What is the Meaning of Beat around the Bush Idiom? – Detailed Explanation

The idiom implies a hesitation or unwillingness to address an issue or question directly. When someone “beats around the bush,” they are being evasive, often because the topic at hand is awkward, uncomfortable, or sensitive.

Origin of Beat around the Bush Idiom

The expression traces its roots to old hunting practices. Hunters used to beat around the edges of bushes to flush out game, avoiding direct confrontation with potentially dangerous animals. Over time, the phrase evolved into a metaphor for skirting around a subject rather than addressing it head-on.

20 Best Sentence Examples with Beat around the bush Idiom

Beat around the bush Idiom
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  1. During the meeting, Sarah continued to beat around the bush instead of addressing the budget issues directly.
  2. If you have something to say, don’t beat around the bush; just get to the point.
  3. I wish my doctor wouldn’t beat around the bush when discussing test results.
  4. The politician beat around the bush during the interview to avoid answering questions about his scandal.
  5. Stop beating around the bush and tell me if I got the promotion or not.
  6. We don’t have time to beat around the bush; the deadline is tomorrow.
  7. It seemed like the lawyer was beating around the bush to avoid admitting his client’s guilt.
  8. She was beating around the bush all evening before finally asking for a favor.
  9. The professor beat around the bush so much that I couldn’t understand the main idea of the lecture.
  10. I wish you wouldn’t beat around the bush when it comes to discussing our relationship issues.
  11. He spent thirty minutes beating around the bush before revealing the company’s downsizing plans.
  12. Instead of beating around the bush, how about you tell me what you really think of my proposal?
  13. Please, no more beating around the bush; are we merging with the other company or not?
  14. They were beating around the bush, discussing trivial matters, when what needed to be sorted was the contract terms.
  15. The team was beating around the bush during the meeting, avoiding the topic of layoffs.
  16. The counselor suggested not beating around the bush if I really wanted to resolve conflicts in my family.
  17. The consultant did not beat around the bush; he got straight to the shortcomings of our project.
  18. If you keep beating around the bush, we’ll never come to a resolution.
  19. She didn’t want to beat around the bush, so she asked him directly if he was interested in marrying her.
  20. Let’s not beat around the bush; we need to discuss your performance openly if you’re going to improve.

More Famous Idioms with Meaning, Sentence Examples

How to Use Beat around the Bush Idiom in Sentences?

Using idioms like “beat around the bush” can make your language more vivid and expressive. However, it’s important to use them appropriately to ensure your message is clear. Here’s how you can use “beat around the bush” in your sentences:

Choose the Right Context

This idiom is often used when someone is avoiding the main point or being indirect. Therefore, use it when discussing topics where straightforwardness is expected but not given.

Place it Correctly

“Beat around the bush” can be used at the beginning, middle, or end of a sentence. For example:

  • Beginning: “Beating around the bush isn’t going to solve the issue.”
  • Middle: “I think you’re beating around the bush, and I’d like a straightforward answer.”
  • End: “Please get to the point and stop beating around the bush.”

Pair it with Direct Statements

To emphasize the need for clarity, you can pair the idiom with a direct statement:

  • “Stop beating around the bush and tell me what you want.”

Use it in Questions

This idiom is effective in questions when you want to prompt someone to be more direct:

  • “Are you beating around the bush, or do you have something specific in mind?”

Use it in Different Tenses

The idiom is flexible and can be adapted to different tenses:

  • Past: “He beat around the bush.”
  • Present continuous: “She is beating around the bush.”

Tips for Using Beat around the Bush Idiom

Know Your Audience

While this is a commonly understood idiom in English-speaking countries, it may not be clear to people who are not familiar with English idioms.

Keep it Professional

In professional settings, use the idiom only when it adds value to your statement or argument.

Avoid Overuse

Like any other idiom or figure of speech, “beat around the bush” loses its impact if overused. Use it sparingly for emphasis.

Combine with Other Idioms or Phrases

For more vibrant language, you could combine it with other idioms or phrases that convey a similar meaning, but don’t overcomplicate your sentence:

  • “Let’s cut to the chase; stop beating around the bush.”


The best way to get comfortable with using “beat around the bush” is to practice. Try including it in your daily conversations where applicable, or write practice sentences to understand its various usages better.

By incorporating these tips and guidelines, you can use “beat around the bush” to make your language more colorful and expressive, while still maintaining clarity and directness.

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