Rotund vs rotunda

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Rotund and rotunda are two words that are often confused. We will examine the definitions of rotund and rotunda, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Rotund may mean spherical or round, but most often rotund is used to describe a person who is portly or overweight. When referring to speech, rotund means grandly eloquent. The word rotund is an adjective, related words are rotundly, rotundness. The word rotund is derived from the Latin word rotundus, which means spherical or circular.

A rotunda is a building or a room in a building that is round. Often, a rotunda is capped by a dome. The Pantheon in Rome is an early example of a rotunda. The Pantheon was originally a temple, built by Hadrian in 126 A.D. Today, it is used as a Catholic Church and houses the remains of notables such as the painter Raphael and the king Vittorio Emanuele II. The United States Capitol rotunda, capped by a dome, was completed in 1824. The word rotunda is derived from the Latin word rotunda, which is the feminine form of the word rotundus.


“You could say he is somewhat more rotund than the others and you see him make off down the road after his friends.” (The Leicester Mercury)

But major success came when the rotund joker wrote the sitcom Gavin And Stacey with Ruth Jones, and created his alter-ego Smithy which proved hugely popular. (The Sun)

There will be an opening reception from 8:15-9 a.m. Tuesday for “The Art of Susan Schuenke” in the Rotunda area of the St. Johns County Administration building, 500 San Sebastian View, St. Augustine, prior to the regularly scheduled St. Johns County Commission meeting. (The Florida Times-Union)

More than two years after Sen. Mitch McConnell and Matt Bevin, then candidate for governor, called for its removal, the statue of Jefferson Davis remains in the rotunda of the Kentucky Capitol. (The Courier-Journal)