noun, often attributive
cir·​cuit | \ ˈsər-kət How to pronounce circuit (audio) \

Definition of circuit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a usually circular line encompassing an area a swamp about 10 miles in circuit
b : the space enclosed within such a line the circuit of the duke's land
2a : a course around a periphery the periodic circuit of the Earth around the Sun
b : a circuitous or indirect route The damaged bridge forced him to take a long circuit to his destination.
3a : a regular tour (as by a traveling judge or preacher) around an assigned district or territory The preacher ministered to each congregation in his circuit.
b : the route traveled His circuit took him to many towns in the county.
c : a group of church congregations ministered to by one pastor
4a : the complete path of an electric current including usually the source of electric energy
b : an assemblage of electronic elements : hookup
c : a two-way communication path between points (as in a computer)
d : a neuronal pathway of the brain along which electrical and chemical signals travel
5a : an association of similar groups : league
b : a number or series of public outlets (such as theaters, radio shows, or arenas) offering the same kind of presentation He loved competing on the rodeo circuit. She rose through the theater circuit to become a big-time entertainer.
c : a number of similar social gatherings the cocktail circuit


circuited; circuiting; circuits

Definition of circuit (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to make a circuit about a route that circuits the Back Bay section of the city

intransitive verb

: to make a circuit Potential buyers circuited around the boatyard.

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Other Words from circuit


circuital \ ˈsər-​kə-​tᵊl How to pronounce circuit (audio) \ adjective

Examples of circuit in a Sentence

Noun It takes a year for the Earth to make one circuit around the sun. Verb after circuiting the exterior of the church, the procession headed inside
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun No team in the AL pinch-hits as much as the A’s, who have the most plate appearances (90), hits (19) and RBIs (14) in the circuit. John Shea, San Francisco Chronicle, 16 July 2021 Saturday was the busiest day so far in the July passing circuit, with Mission Viejo, La Verne Bonita and Culver City also hosting competitions. Eric Sondheimer Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 10 July 2021 In the years since his appearance at those Games, he has been ranked first in the world and captured eight medals on the World Cup circuit and the silver medal at the 2018 World Championships., 30 June 2021 Former President Trump returned to the rally circuit on Saturday night. Adam Brewster, CBS News, 26 June 2021 Jade Carey, who has already secured an individual berth to the Olympics thanks to her performance on the World Cup circuit, was sixth. Will Graves, Chron, 7 June 2021 Taking titles in Saturday’s classic race were Hunter Wonders and Hailey Swirbul, who both spent most of the season racing on the World Cup circuit. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, 16 Apr. 2021 That August, a knee injury that required reconstructive surgery kept Hendrickson from the World Cup circuit and called into question her chances of competing at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi — the first to offer women’s ski jumping as an Olympic sport. Julie Jag, The Salt Lake Tribune, 26 Mar. 2021 Roberts eventually made it to the World Cup circuit, and his path was unusual. New York Times, 13 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This build-up, known as lithium dendrite, can short-circuit the battery and shorten its life. University Of Houston Energy Fellows, Forbes, 14 June 2021 That will short-circuit an offense’s ability to put early pressure on opponents. Evan Grant, Dallas News, 7 June 2021 The surge, however, didn't short-circuit his hardwiring. Sarah Mclellan, Star Tribune, 8 May 2021 After a transfer hearing last week, Limestone County Juvenile Judge Matthew Huggins ordered the case to be transferred to circuit criminal court for prosecution and bound over to a grand jury. al, 12 Nov. 2020 Eventually, these eleven words could underlie the next generation of arms control negotiations, strengthen the global nonproliferation regime, and help short-circuit a second nuclear arms race. Jessica T. Mathews, The New York Review of Books, 22 July 2020 The sport took a hit when the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation canceled the 2020 TAAF Summer Games of Texas, leading to regional and circuit swim cancellations, according to an email from the Don Rodenbaugh Natatorium that hosts Allen’s swim team. Reese Oxner, Dallas News, 2 June 2020 Obviously a collision can't compromise the integrity of the pack itself, because lithium-ion cells don't react well to being short-circuited. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, 31 Mar. 2020 One escaped through her hospital window and the other short-circuited the electronic lock to her room. Fox News, 1 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'circuit.' 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 circuit


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


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for circuit

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French circuite, from Latin circuitus, from circumire, circuire to go around, from circum- + ire to go — more at issue entry 1

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Time Traveler for circuit

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near circuit



circuital field

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Statistics for circuit

Last Updated

20 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Circuit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for circuit



English Language Learners Definition of circuit

: a series of performances, sports events, lectures, etc., that are held or done at many different places
: a path or trip around something
: the complete path that an electric current travels along


cir·​cuit | \ ˈsər-kət How to pronounce circuit (audio) \

Kids Definition of circuit

1 : a boundary line around an area
2 : an enclosed space
3 : movement around something The earth makes a circuit around the sun.
4 : a regular tour of service (as by a judge) around an assigned territory : a course so traveled
5 : a series of performances, competitions, or appearances held at many different places the pro tennis circuit
6 : the complete path of an electric current
7 : a group of electronic parts


cir·​cuit | \ ˈsər-kət How to pronounce circuit (audio) \

Medical Definition of circuit

1 : the complete path of an electric current including usually the source of electric energy
2 : a neuronal pathway of the brain along which electrical and chemical signals travel … the neurons in this brain circuit communicate using the chemical messenger dopamine.— Helen Fisher, The Wall Street Journal, 13 Feb. 2004

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Legal Definition of circuit

1a : a route formerly taken by traveling judges
b : a district established within a state or the federal judicial system
2 capitalized : the court of appeals for a circuit in the federal judicial system after the 9th Circuit's ruling— V. M. Sher

More from Merriam-Webster on circuit

Nglish: Translation of circuit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of circuit for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about circuit


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