Dictionary

circus

noun, cir·cus often attributive \ˈsər-kəs\

: 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
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
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
a obsolete :  circle, ring
b British :  a usually circular area at an intersection of streets
cir·cusy \-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

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: circus catchPrevious Word in the Dictionary: circumzenithal arcAll Words Near: circus
May 27, 2015
riot act Hear it
a vigorous reprimand or warning
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears