circulate

verb
cir·​cu·​late | \ ˈsər-kyə-ˌlāt How to pronounce circulate (audio) \
circulated; circulating

Definition of circulate

intransitive verb

1 : to move in a circle, circuit, or orbit especially : to follow a course that returns to the starting point blood circulates through the body
2 : to pass from person to person or place to place: such as
a : to flow without obstruction
b : to become well-known or widespread rumors circulated through the town
c : to go from group to group at a social gathering
d : to come into the hands of readers specifically : to become sold or distributed

transitive verb

: to cause to circulate

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from circulate

circulatable \ ˈsər-​kyə-​ˌlā-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce circulatable (audio) \ adjective
circulative \ ˈsər-​kyə-​ˌlā-​tiv How to pronounce circulative (audio) \ adjective
circulator \ ˈsər-​kyə-​ˌlā-​tər How to pronounce circulator (audio) \ noun

Examples of circulate in a Sentence

Blood circulates through the body. Steam circulates in the pipes. A pump circulates the water through the filter. Rumors are circulating around town. The report circulated among the students. Stories were circulated about mismanagement. He is circulating a petition asking for a new election. She circulated among her guests.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Earlier this year, a casting call poster for the movie circulated on Twitter, requesting for actors between 15-25 years old who are able to sing and dance for the roles of Tony, Maria, Anita, and Bernardo. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Rita Moreno Has Officially Joined Steven Spielberg's West Side Story Remake," 28 Nov. 2018 An image circulating on Chinese social media, which Huawei has confirmed as authentic to The Verge, suggests the outline of a bezel-less phone with a selfie camera in the corner. Sam Byford, The Verge, "Huawei hints at notchless phone with circular camera cutout," 27 Nov. 2018 Images that circulated online during the height of Trump’s family separations controversy were actually from 2014 under the Obama administration. Hope Yen, The Seattle Times, "Fact-checking President Trump on migrants, Saudis, Hispanic vote," 22 Oct. 2018 After video of the arrest circulated widely online in April, lawyers for Marrow called for the officers involved to be fired and for criminal charges filed against Marrow to be dropped. Kate Brumback, Fox News, "Lawyers: Officials conspired to hide info about arrest," 27 Aug. 2018 These files have circulated online since their original publication back in 2013. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Judge allows temporary ban on 3D-printed gun files to continue," 27 Aug. 2018 In the plea agreement, federal prosecutors debunked conspiracy theories about the case that had circulated online. Karen Zraick, New York Times, "Imran Awan, Ex-Congressional I.T. Worker, Pleads Guilty to Bank Fraud," 3 July 2018 As images and video of children in wire cages at detention centers circulate online, and heartbreaking stories of migrant parents being separated from their children are shared, the outrage continues to grow. Michelle Darrisaw, Essence.com, "Ava DuVernay Speaks Out Against Trump Administration’s Family Separation Policy: ‘We Cannot Allow This’," 20 June 2018 As soon as photos started circulating online, people were quick to comment on Eugenie's look. Michelle Manetti, Good Housekeeping, "Princess Eugenie's "Daring" Floral Dress Has Everyone Talking," 18 Apr. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of circulate

1603, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for circulate

Latin circulatus, past participle of circulare, from circulus

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about circulate

Statistics for circulate

Last Updated

11 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for circulate

The first known use of circulate was in 1603

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for circulate

circulate

verb
cir·​cu·​late | \ ˈsər-kyə-ˌlāt How to pronounce circulate (audio) \
circulated; circulating

Kids Definition of circulate

1 : to move around in a course Blood circulates in the body.
2 : to pass or be passed from place to place or from person to person The rumor circulated around the school.

circulate

intransitive verb
cir·​cu·​late | \ ˈsər-kyə-ˌlāt How to pronounce circulate (audio) \
circulated; circulating

Medical Definition of circulate

: to flow or be propelled naturally through a closed system of channels (as blood vessels) blood circulates through the body

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on circulate

What made you want to look up circulate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

an enemy or opponent

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Thing: Animal Edition

  • alt 5a023732e6f75
  • Name that animal:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!