circulate

verb

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

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
circulatable adjective
circulative adjective
circulator noun

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Example Sentences

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 The troposphere is where weather happens, and where eye-searing clouds of smoke and soot circulate even from moderately sized fires. Tribune News Service, oregonlive, 6 Aug. 2022 Play scripts have started to circulate for the first game, something that normally occurs the week before kickoff. Kevin Reynolds, The Salt Lake Tribune, 5 Aug. 2022 The troposphere is where weather happens, and where eye-searing clouds of smoke and soot circulate even from moderately sized fires. Corinne Purtill, Anchorage Daily News, 3 Aug. 2022 The troposphere is where weather happens, and where eye-searing clouds of smoke and soot circulate even from moderately sized fires. Corinne Purtill, Los Angeles Times, 3 Aug. 2022 Numerous reports begin to circulate about a Watson trade to the Miami Dolphins. Ashley Bastock, cleveland, 1 Aug. 2022 Lebanon's National News Agency confirmed the silo's partial collapse Sunday as videos of the damage appeared to circulate online. Doha Madani, NBC News, 31 July 2022 The Locke family owns 51,964 of the 127,850 land shares that were issued by Pinelawn during the presidential administration of Theodore Roosevelt, and which still circulate today. Carson Kessler, ProPublica, 25 July 2022 Late Wednesday, a list of what appears to be the production and writing credits started to circulate online. Kyle Denis, Billboard, 21 July 2022 See More

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.

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Word History

Etymology

Latin circulatus, past participle of circulare, from circulus

First Known Use

1603, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of circulate was in 1603

Dictionary Entries Near circulate

Cite this Entry

“Circulate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/circulate. Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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Kids Definition

circulate

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

Medical Definition

circulate

intransitive verb
cir·​cu·​late ˈsər-kyə-ˌlāt How to pronounce circulate (audio)
circulated; circulating
: to flow or be propelled naturally through a closed system of channels (as blood vessels)
blood circulates through the body

More from Merriam-Webster on circulate

Last Updated: 13 Aug 2022

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