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circus

play
noun cir·cus \ˈsər-kəs\

Simple Definition of circus

  • : a traveling show that is often performed in a tent and that typically includes trained animals, clowns, acrobats, etc.

  • : a situation or event that is very busy, lively, and confusing and that attracts a lot of attention

  • : a circular area where several streets meet

Full Definition of circus

  1. 1 a :  a large arena enclosed by tiers of seats on three or all four sides and used especially for sports or spectacles (as athletic contests, exhibitions of horsemanship, or in ancient times chariot racing) b :  a public spectacle

  2. 2 a :  an arena often covered by a tent and used for variety shows usually including feats of physical skill, wild animal acts, and performances by clowns b :  a circus performance c :  the physical plant, livestock, and personnel of such a circus d :  something suggestive of a circus (as in frenzied activity, sensationalism, theatricality, or razzle-dazzle) <a media circus>

  3. 3 a obsolete :  circle, ring b British :  a usually circular area at an intersection of streets

cir·cusy play \-kə-sē\ adjective

Examples of circus

  1. He worked for a small circus.

  2. We're going to the circus.



Origin of circus

Middle English, from Latin, circle, circus — more at circle


First Known Use: 14th century



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