Simple Definition of circumference
: the length of a line that goes around something or that makes a circle or other round shape
: the outer edge of a shape or area
Examples of circumference in a sentence
What is the circumference of the Earth at the equator?
The circle is 38 inches in circumference.
The fence marks the circumference of the field.
Did You Know?
Attempts have been made to measure the circumference of the earth since the time of Aristotle. The calculation that Columbus was relying on led him to think he could reach China by sailing west more quickly than by sailing east. But that measurement had calculated the earth's circumference as about a quarter too small, and the rest is history. Columbus wasn't the only one who got it wrong; many later attempts continued to produce different measurements for the earth's circumference—even though the Greeks had calculated it correctly way back in the 3rd century B.C.
Origin and Etymology of circumference
Middle English, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French, from Latin circumferentia, from circumferre to carry around, from circum- + ferre to carry — more at bear
First Known Use: 14th century
CIRCUMFERENCE Defined for Kids
Definition of circumference for Students
1 : the line that goes around a circle
2 : a boundary line enclosing an area <A fence marks the circumference of the yard.>
3 : the distance around something
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Seen and Heard
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