cir·​cu·​lar | \ ˈsər-kyə-lər How to pronounce circular (audio) \

Definition of circular

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : having the form of a circle : round a circular orbit
b : moving in or describing a circle or spiral a circular staircase
2a : of or relating to a circle or its mathematical properties a circular arc
b : having a circular base or bases a circular cylinder
4 : marked by or moving in a cycle
5 : being or involving reasoning that uses in the argument or proof a conclusion to be proved or one of its unproved consequences
6 : intended for circulation a circular letter



Definition of circular (Entry 2 of 2)

: a paper (such as a leaflet) intended for wide distribution

Other Words from circular


circularity \ ˌsər-​kyə-​ˈler-​ə-​tē How to pronounce circular (audio) , -​ˈla-​rə-​ \ noun
circularly \ ˈsər-​kyə-​lər-​lē How to pronounce circular (audio) \ adverb
circularness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for circular

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of circular in a Sentence

Adjective That planet has a more circular orbit than our planet does. a rather circular discussion of the problem that never addresses it directly Noun According to the circular, eggs are on sale this week. promptly tosses out those advertising circulars that come in the newspaper
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective His design was circular: a brick path, set in a lawn, that formed seven concentric rings winding toward a sundial in the center. Nicola Twilley, The New Yorker, 22 Nov. 2021 Likening his plan to cities founded by Alexander the Great, Bukele said Bitcoin City would be circular, with an airport, residential and commercial areas, and feature a central plaza designed to look like a bitcoin symbol from the air. Reuters, CNN, 21 Nov. 2021 There are also rumors that the volume buttons on the iPhone 14 will be circular. Yoni Heisler, BGR, 13 Oct. 2021 The White Lotus is circular in its plotting, returning in its finale to the scene with which the show began: Shane seated in the liminal space of an airport waiting area, being forced into conversation with a middle-aged couple. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, 16 Aug. 2021 The agency notes that calderas can be more than 25 kilometers in diameter and several kilometers deep and are often circular in shape. Julia Musto, Fox News, 1 Aug. 2021 Setting itself apart from linear paths, Shikoku is circular, threading through four provinces. Joan Taylor, The Christian Science Monitor, 19 May 2021 In this respect, the story is unexpectedly circular. Hari Kunzru, Harper's Magazine, 27 Apr. 2021 Parkes is realistic about the challenges of reconfiguring the apparel industry to be more circular. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, 19 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Otis’s son-in-law Harry Chandler, the man responsible for the Hollywood sign, treated the paper like a real-estate circular. The New Yorker, 25 Oct. 2021 Tanah Sullivan, Group Head of Sustainability, GoTo Adopt a mindset that circular is a business decision and should be treated by the company as such. World Economic Forum, Forbes, 21 Sep. 2021 The announcement triggered an immediate uproar and a revival of the circular and by now utterly frustrating political debate about masking that festered through much of the last year. Stephen Collinson With Shelby Rose, CNN, 28 July 2021 For now, cryptocurrency exchanges and investors seem to have perceived the RBI’s latest circular as a stamp of approval. Mimansa Verma, Quartz, 4 July 2021 And the New York State Department of Finance said in a February circular that massive industry losses were possible. Frank Bajak, Star Tribune, 4 July 2021 More savings: Look at the weekly circular before heading to CVS. Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY, 30 June 2021 The company did not return phone calls, but signs in the windows and an advertising circular said the closing was tied to the end of its lease. Bob Bong,, 8 June 2021 It is held in place by two hooks, one circular, the other heart-shaped. David Phelan, Forbes, 5 May 2021

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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1789, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for circular


Middle English circuler, from Middle French, from Late Latin circularis, from Latin circulus circle

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Time Traveler for circular

Time Traveler

The first known use of circular was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near circular



circular canal

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Statistics for circular

Last Updated

26 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Circular.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for circular


cir·​cu·​lar | \ ˈsər-kyə-lər How to pronounce circular (audio) \

Kids Definition of circular

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : shaped like a circle or part of a circle : round a circular track
2 : passing or going around in a circle a circular motion
3 : not said in simple or sincere language a circular explanation



Kids Definition of circular (Entry 2 of 2)

: a printed notice or advertisement given or sent to many people


cir·​cu·​lar | \ ˈsər-kyə-lər How to pronounce circular (audio) \

Medical Definition of circular

: manic-depressive especially : bipolar sense 3 the exalted phase of the mental circular state — Havelock Ellis

More from Merriam-Webster on circular

Nglish: Translation of circular for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of circular for Arabic Speakers


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