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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web An extensive Google Doc circulating around the Reddit-like forum LIHKG, for example, details restaurants that should be avoided by pro-democracy diners. Amy Gunia / Hong Kong, Time, "In Hong Kong, Employees Hide Their Political Leanings as Beijing Forces Companies to Take Sides," 16 Sep. 2019 Stockton Unified is aware of the student matter that took place on 9/11/19 [Wednesday] at Edison High School and the recording circulating on social media. Fox News, "California Marine filmed violently tackling two brawling students to the ground," 15 Sep. 2019 In both cases—after the rodents were physically restrained for 45 minutes and people were asked to give a 10-minute speech—levels of circulating osteocalcin surged by 50 percent. Diana Kwon, Scientific American, "Fight or Flight May Be In Our Bones," 12 Sep. 2019 Since the protests broke out in Hong Kong three months ago, officials on the Chinese mainland have been working hard to prevent views like hers from circulating openly. The Economist, "China says Hong Kong’s protesters have the mainland in their sights," 12 Sep. 2019 Fans cautioned each other to be wary of circulating links to the episodes. Washington Post, "SNL announces 3 new cast members for Season 45 — and there’s already controversy," 18 Sep. 2019 GIFs of Spicer started circulating on social media immediately following his performance. Fox News, "Trump calls for resignations at NY Times over Kavanaugh story; Netanyahu's challenge in repeat election," 17 Sep. 2019 Without clear information about what happened, students said, rumors circulated wildly. Talia Richman, baltimoresun.com, "‘Her heart was too big’: Charla Melvin, Windsor Mill woman found dead in Baltimore, put family first, relatives say," 16 Sep. 2019 The highway — the only road into town — closed sporadically, and videos circulated online of flames licking the roadside. Tegan Hanlon, Anchorage Daily News, "‘This town is just exhausted’: Cooper Landing wrestles with aftermath of a summer lost to wildfire," 15 Sep. 2019

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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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

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Statistics for circulate

Last Updated

24 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for circulate

The first known use of circulate was in 1603

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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.
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

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Comments on circulate

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