1

circle

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noun, often attributive cir·cle \ ˈsər-kəl \

Definition of circle

1 a :ring, halo
b :a closed plane (see 5plane 2b) curve every point of which is equidistant (see equidistant 1) from a fixed point within the curve
c :the plane surface bounded by such a curve
2 archaic :the orbit of a celestial body
3 :something in the form of a circle or section of a circle: such as
a :diadem
b :an instrument of astronomical observation the graduated (see graduated 2a) 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
  • Traffic slowed down around the circle.
4 :an area of action or influence :realm
  • within the circle of probability
5 a :cycle, round
  • the wheel has come full circle
b :fallacious reasoning in which something to be demonstrated is covertly assumed
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
  • political, social, and literary circles
7 :a territorial or administrative division or district
  • The province is divided into nine circles.
8 :a curving side street
  • lived on Kimberly Circle
9 :a circular course or path
  • The children ran in circles around the tree.
  • The conversation kept going in circles, and nothing got accomplished.

Examples of circle in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of circle from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'circle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Illustration of circle

Origin and Etymology 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

circle Synonyms

Synonyms
cirque, ring, round, roundel
Related Words
circlet, ringlet; ellipse, loop, oval; ball, globe, orb, sphere
Near Antonyms
loner; individualist

2

circle

verb

Definition of circle

circled; circling play \-k(ə-)liŋ\
transitive verb
1 :to enclose in or as if in a circle
  • The teacher circled the misspelled words.
2 :to move or revolve around
  • satellites circling the earth
intransitive verb
1 a :to move in or as if in a circle
  • The airplane circled around over the airport.
b :circulate
  • thy name shall circle round the gaping throng
  • —Lord Byron
2 :to describe or extend in a circle
  • the lighthouse sent out its slow steady circling beam
  • —R. O. Bowen

circler

play \-k(ə-)lər\ noun

Examples of circle in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of circle from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'circle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of circle

circle Synonyms



CIRCLE Defined for English Language Learners

circle

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noun

Definition of circle for English Language Learners

  • : 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


circle

verb

Definition of circle for English Language Learners

  • : to form a circle around (something)

  • : to draw a circle around (something)

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


CIRCLE Defined for Kids

1

circle

play
noun cir·cle \ ˈsər-kəl \

Definition of circle for Students

1 :a line that is curved so that its ends meet and every point on the line is the same distance from the center
2 :something in the form of a circle or part of a circle
  • We gathered in a circle around the fireplace.
3 :1cycle 2, round
  • The wheel has come full circle.
4 :a group of people sharing a common interest
  • a reading circle
  • a circle of friends

2

circle

verb

Definition of circle for Students

circled; circling
1 :to form or draw a circle around
  • Circle the correct answers.
2 :to move or revolve around
  • Satellites circle the earth.
3 :to move in or as if in a circle
  • Vultures circled overhead.

Medical Dictionary

circle

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noun cir·cle \ ˈsər-kəl \

medical Definition of circle

1 a :a closed plane curve every point of which is equidistant from a fixed point within the curve
b :the plane surface bounded by such a curve
2 :something (as an anatomical part) in the form of a circle or section of a circle
  • an arterial circle
— see circle of willis


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