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noun cir·cle \ˈsər-kəl\

Simple Definition of circle

  • : a perfectly round shape : a line that is curved so that its ends meet and every point on the line is the same distance from the center

  • : a path that goes around a central point

  • : an arrangement of people or things that forms a circle

Full Definition of circle

  1. 1 a :  ring, halo b :  a closed plane curve every point of which is equidistant from a fixed point within the curve c :  the plane surface bounded by such a curve

  2. 2 archaic :  the orbit of a celestial body

  3. 3 :  something in the form of a circle or section of a circle: as a :  diadem b :  an instrument of astronomical observation the graduated limb of which consists of an entire circle c :  a balcony or tier of seats in a theater d :  a circle formed on the surface of a sphere by the intersection of a plane that passes through it <circle of latitude> e :  rotary 2

  4. 4 :  an area of action or influence :  realm

  5. 5 a :  cycle, round <the wheel has come full circle> b :  fallacious reasoning in which something to be demonstrated is covertly assumed

  6. 6 :  a group of persons sharing a common interest or revolving about a common center <the sewing circle of her church> <family circle> <the gossip of court circles>

  7. 7 :  a territorial or administrative division or district

  8. 8 :  a curving side street

Examples of circle

  1. She drew a circle around the correct answer.

  2. We formed a circle around the campfire.

  3. He looked old and tired, with dark circles under his eyes.

  4. She has a large circle of friends.

  5. She is well-known in banking circles.

Illustration of circle

Origin of circle

Middle English cercle, from Anglo-French, from Latin circulus, diminutive of circus circle, circus, from or akin to Greek krikos, kirkos ring; akin to Old English hring ring — more at ring

First Known Use: 14th century



verb cir·cle

Simple Definition of circle

  • : to form a circle around (something)

  • : to draw a circle around (something)

  • : to move or go around (someone or something) in a circle

Full Definition of circle

cir·cledcir·cling play \-k(ə-)liŋ\

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to enclose in or as if in a circle

  3. 2 :  to move or revolve around <satellites circling the earth>

  4. intransitive verb
  5. 1 a :  to move in or as if in a circle b :  circulate

  6. 2 :  to describe or extend in a circle

cir·cler play \-k(ə-)lər\ noun

Examples of circle

  1. He circled his arms around his wife's waist.

  2. His arms circled around his wife's waist.

  3. She circled the correct answer.

  4. The pilot circled the airport before landing.

  5. The halfback circled to the left.

14th Century

First Known Use of circle

14th century

Medical Dictionary


noun cir·cle \ˈsər-kəl\

Medical Definition of circle

  1. 1a:  a closed plane curve every point of which is equidistant from a fixed point within the curveb:  the plane surface bounded by such a curve

  2. 2:  something (as an anatomical part) in the form of a circle or section of a circle <an arterial circle>—see circle of willis

Seen and Heard

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February 11, 2016

the holder of an office

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