cir·​cu·​la·​tion | \ˌsər-kyə-ˈlā-shən \

Definition of circulation 

1 : orderly movement through a circuit especially : the movement of blood through the vessels of the body induced by the pumping action of the heart

2 : flow

3a : passage or transmission from person to person or place to place especially : the interchange of currency coins in circulation

b : the extent of dissemination: such as

(1) : the average number of copies of a publication sold over a given period

(2) : the total number of items borrowed from a library

Examples of circulation in a Sentence

He has bad circulation in his legs. The drug improves blood circulation. The attic has poor air circulation. the circulation of ocean waters Let's open the windows to get some circulation in here. This memo is not meant for circulation. The coins have recently entered circulation.
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Recent Examples on the Web

India has a long history of mob violence, but in recent years, the internet and smartphones have aided the circulation of deadly rumors even to remote places. Aijaz Hussain, The Seattle Times, "Indian mob lynches woman on rumors of child kidnapping," 23 July 2018 David Thornberry, publisher of the Longview Daily News, which has a circulation of about 12,000 on weekdays and 15,000 on Sundays, said the tariff increase will be closer to five cents per copy. Jackie Spinner,, "Trump's trade war threatens the U.S. newspaper industry: 'This is insane'," 25 June 2018 Tiny marine creatures flourished thanks to the circulation of nutrient-rich water. Katherine Kornei, Science | AAAS, "Life rebounded just years after the dinosaur-killing asteroid struck," 30 May 2018 The owl's humerus was still viable, the nerves were still intact and the circulation good, Convy said. The Washington Post,, "Who wins: truck versus owl, and the owl survives," 8 May 2018 The circulation of bland job titles and favorable stories, in the absence of any information about intelligence misjudgments or operations gone wrong, has rankled critics who say the CIA has mounted a propaganda operation to boost Haspel's chances. Ken Dilanian /, NBC News, "Why do so many spies support Gina Haspel to head the CIA? That's classified," 8 May 2018 Vented skylights in kitchens help get rid of heat from the oven and allow for circulation of fresh air to cool the space and remove odors. Dan Marshall, Houston Chronicle, "GHBA Remodelers Council: Reimagine your home with skylights," 6 May 2018 Its circulation was a modest 9,000 copies, according to a corporate history written by Robert T. Elson. Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg, WSJ, "Time Magazine Sold to Salesforce Founder Marc Benioff for $190 Million," 16 Sep. 2018 Participants include large newspapers like the New York Times and small local publications with circulations as low as 4,000, and the Globe encouraged editorial boards to participate regardless of their political point of view. Anna North, Vox, "The papers published editorials defending freedom of the press, in an effort coordinated by the Boston Globe.," 16 Aug. 2018

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

1535, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

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The first known use of circulation was in 1535

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English Language Learners Definition of circulation

: the movement of blood through the body that is caused by the pumping action of the heart

: movement of air, water, etc., through the different parts of something

: the act of passing something (such as money, information, etc.) from person to person or place to place : the state of being passed from person to person or place to place


cir·​cu·​la·​tion | \ˌsər-kyə-ˈlā-shən \

Kids Definition of circulation

1 : movement through something A fan will improve the circulation of air in the room.

2 : passage from place to place or person to person coins in circulation

3 : the average number of copies (as of a newspaper) sold in a given period


cir·​cu·​la·​tion | \ˌsər-kyə-ˈlā-shən \

Medical Definition of circulation 

: the movement of blood through the vessels of the body that is induced by the pumping action of the heart and serves to distribute nutrients and oxygen to and remove waste products from all parts of the body — see pulmonary circulation, systemic circulation

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More from Merriam-Webster on circulation

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with circulation

Spanish Central: Translation of circulation

Nglish: Translation of circulation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of circulation for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about circulation

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