circuit

1 of 2

noun

cir·​cuit ˈsər-kət How to pronounce circuit (audio)
often attributive
1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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.
3
a
: 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
4
a
: 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
5
a
: 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
circuital adjective

circuit

2 of 2

verb

circuited; circuiting; circuits

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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Example Sentences

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
Import value is nil, though the pic may find a few supporters on the fest circuit. John Defore, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 Sep. 2022 Stephen and his brother starred at Charlotte Christian, a $23,000-a-year private academy, while traveling on the local hoops circuit. Matt Sullivan, Rolling Stone, 13 Sep. 2022 But anyone who’d been watching closely this season was well aware that Garcia had flown to New York as the hottest player on the circuit. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, 7 Sep. 2022 These works, which are likely to surface on the festival circuit, are a tangible sign that Saudi Arabia’s nascent local industry is fostering local films with potential to travel as well as to play for local audiences. Nick Vivarelli, Variety, 6 Sep. 2022 Piccolo, Powless’ teammate, caught the foursome on the final circuit. Edward Lee, Baltimore Sun, 4 Sep. 2022 Over the next 10 weeks, 16 drivers and teams will seek perfection and attempt to avoid being one of four eliminated at the conclusion of each three-race round, which feature some of the most iconic venues and events on the circuit. Cole Cusumano, The Arizona Republic, 3 Sep. 2022 Becky is now 27 and has a 4-year-old daughter who’s also on the circuit. Good Housekeeping, 3 Sep. 2022 Carmen Luisi, Holliston — The 2021 Division 2 Runner of the Year was the fastest on the MIAA circuit throughout the fall season, highlighted by her win at the D2 state meet (17:45.21). BostonGlobe.com, 26 Aug. 2022
Verb
Hundreds of players came and went, from Grand Slam champions to circuit short-timers. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, 23 Aug. 2022 Damage to the pons can short-circuit its ability to paralyze the sleeping body. Jen Rose Smith, CNN, 10 May 2022 These are tested and wrapped in plastic packages to connect them to circuit boards or parts of a system. New York Times, 8 Apr. 2022 The awards circuit moves from movies to music, with the airing of the 64th Grammy Awards. Irene Kim, Vogue, 2 Apr. 2022 Do this circuit a total of 4 times to get a full abs workout in 10 minutes. Amy Marturana Winderl, SELF, 24 Jan. 2022 The administration said the court could short-circuit the usual process and rule on the law's constitutionality this term, even though lower courts have yet to do so. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 19 Oct. 2021 The lawsuit doesn’t specify the sum of money that his client is seeking to collect; circuit civil cases seek over $30,000, and Scavetta cited the possibility of seeking punitive damages. Marc Freeman, sun-sentinel.com, 7 Oct. 2021 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, 20 Aug. 2020 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

Noun

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

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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

Dictionary Entries Near circuit

Cite this Entry

“Circuit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/circuit. Accessed 26 Sep. 2022.

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Kids Definition

circuit

noun

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

Medical Definition

circuit

noun

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

Legal Definition

circuit

noun

cir·​cuit
1
a
: 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

Last Updated: 18 Sep 2022

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