Learn English – expression to say that one ‘goes around a rule’ to avoid it while not breaking it


I can't seem to recall the proper way to refer to the action of avoiding a rule or order not by breaking it but by using some sort of loophole to work around it.

I'm not sure if it's an actual idiom or just an expression.

I was trying to describe a toddler who was told he couldn't leave a room (couldn't set a foot outside the room, was the exact wording) while his father was assembling a piece of furniture, due to the small pieces around. So the toddler lay flat on the floor, his feet obediently inside the room while the rest of the body was on the hall, as close to the action as possible.

How can I say he 'went around' his mother's order?

Best Answer


to manage to get around [an obstacle], especially by ingenuity or stratagem; work around by outwitting

As in:

By obeying the letter of his mother's order, but not the spirit, the toddler circumvented the prohibition.