circumscribe


cir·cum·scribe

transitive verb \ˈsər-kəm-ˌskrīb\

: to limit the size or amount of (something)

: to draw a shape around (another shape)

Full Definition of CIRCUMSCRIBE

1
a :  to constrict the range or activity of definitely and clearly <his role was carefully circumscribed>
b :  to define or mark off carefully <a study of plant species in a circumscribed area>
2
a :  to draw a line around
b :  to surround by or as if by a boundary <fields circumscribed by tall trees>
3
:  to construct or be constructed around (a geometrical figure) so as to touch as many points as possible

Examples of CIRCUMSCRIBE

  1. The circle is circumscribed by a square.
  2. <circumscribed his enthusiasm so as not to make the losing side feel worse>

Origin of CIRCUMSCRIBE

Middle English circumscriven, from Latin circumscribere, from circum- + scribere to write, draw — more at scribe
First Known Use: 14th century

Related to CIRCUMSCRIBE

Rhymes with CIRCUMSCRIBE

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