circle

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

Definition of circle 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : ring, halo
b : a closed plane (see plane entry 6 sense 2b) curve every point of which is equidistant (see equidistant sense 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 sense 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 sense 2 Traffic slowed down around the circle.
4 : an area of action or influence : realm within the circle of probability
5a : 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.

circle

verb
circled; circling\ ˈsər-​k(ə-​)liŋ \

Definition of circle (Entry 2 of 2)

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

1a : 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
c : to circle around before making an attack sharks circling in the water
2 : to describe or extend in a circle the lighthouse sent out its slow steady circling beam— R. O. Bowen

Illustration of circle

Illustration of circle

Noun

circle 1b: AB diameter; C center; CD, CA, CB radii; EKF arc on chord EF; EFKL (area) segment on chord EF; ACD (area) sector; GH secant; TPM tangent at point P; EKFBPDA circumference

In the meaning defined above

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Other Words from circle

Verb

circler \ ˈsər-​k(ə-​)lər \ noun

Examples of circle in a Sentence

Noun

She drew a circle around the correct answer. We formed a circle around the campfire. He looked old and tired, with dark circles under his eyes. She has a large circle of friends. She is well-known in banking circles.

Verb

He circled his arms around his wife's waist. His arms circled around his wife's waist. She circled the correct answer. The pilot circled the airport before landing. The halfback circled to the left.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

As darkness came, the expansive distances of Kaokoland were reduced to the intimate circle of firelight. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, "Going Off-Grid in Namibia," 21 Dec. 2018 But, recapitulating his problem from four years ago, the lack of enthusiasm for a Biden presidency from Obama’s inner circle is palpable. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "The comically large 2020 Democratic field, explained," 17 Dec. 2018 Step 3: Glue a circle of light green felt to one end of the toilet paper roll, leaving the other end open. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "5 Snapchat Filter Halloween Costumes You Should Rock IRL," 8 Aug. 2018 Cut strip of burlap for apron, then glue half-circle of burlap to underside; hot-glue in place. Woman's Day Staff, Woman's Day, "50+ Creative Pumpkin Carving Ideas for Halloween," 25 July 2018 This reflects how circus, in the beginning, was an insular pursuit that a small circle of friends would practice in our backyards, teaching each other partner acrobatics, or acro yoga. BostonGlobe.com, "Her circus business embraces the unconventional," 14 July 2018 Mary Jane and Walter were blessed with a wide circle of friends and family. courant.com, "Mary Jane Fletcher," 13 July 2018 Some historians think the large circle of free-standing stones was once a solar calendar used to track the seasons. Author: Justin Grieser, Anchorage Daily News, "Five things to know about the longest day of the year," 21 June 2018 Some historians think the large circle of free-standing stones was once a solar calendar used to track the seasons. Justin Grieser, Washington Post, "Summer solstice is Thursday — 5 things to know about the longest day of the year," 20 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Inside the Palazzo delle Scintille were seven towering silver tents circled by onlookers restless to see the treasures underneath, wondering if the big reveal would live up to the hype. Erik Maza, Town & Country, "The Reimagining of a Classic Moncler Jacket," 20 Nov. 2018 When looking for thermals, a lone vulture will move toward other circling birds at high speeds. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Vultures Use Social Networks to Share Crucial Flight Information," 8 Nov. 2018 The aircraft had 3,700 gallons of fuel to burn and continued to circle in order to make a safer emergency landing, according to TMZ. Morgan M. Evans, Fox News, "Post Malone involved in car accident two weeks after plane tires blow out: 'God must hate me'," 7 Sep. 2018 As car ownership became more common and continued to grow—23 million cars circled American roads by 1929—space was at a premium in dense urban centers. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Why valet parking is the future of smarter urban transit," 6 Aug. 2018 Police shined flashlights behind blue waste bins circled by yellow crime tape. Hannah Leone, chicagotribune.com, "Man collapses and dies in alley after telling friends he was beaten with pipes," 31 May 2018 The commercial side of the launch was the sixth in Iridium Communications' $3 billion campaign to replace its entire fleet of globe-circling satellites for mobile communications. John Antczak, OrlandoSentinel.com, "SpaceX launches water mapping science probe GRACE-FO from California," 24 May 2018 Just hours old, the little guy was exposed to the elements and just a few hours away from the buzzards circling. Angela Helm, The Root, "Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser Adopts Newborn in Surprise Announcement," 22 May 2018 Five primitive, hike-in campsites are scattered around Fanny Lake, which is circled by a hiking trail. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "10 remote campsites in Wisconsin for peace and quiet," 14 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of circle

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for circle

Noun and Verb

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

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Statistics for circle

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for circle

The first known use of circle was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for circle

circle

noun

English Language Learners Definition of circle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

English Language Learners Definition of circle (Entry 2 of 2)

: to form a circle around (something)

: to draw a circle around (something)

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

circle

noun
cir·​cle | \ ˈsər-kəl \

Kids Definition of circle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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 : cycle entry 1 sense 2, round The wheel has come full circle.
4 : a group of people sharing a common interest a reading circle a circle of friends

circle

verb
circled; circling

Kids Definition of circle (Entry 2 of 2)

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.

circle

noun
cir·​cle | \ ˈsər-kəl \

Medical Definition of circle 

1a : 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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More from Merriam-Webster on circle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for circle

Spanish Central: Translation of circle

Nglish: Translation of circle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of circle for Arabic Speakers

Comments on circle

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