cir·​cu·​la·​to·​ry ˈsər-kyə-lə-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce circulatory (audio)
: of or relating to circulation or the circulatory system
circulatory failure

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Protein helps replace lost cells in all body systems from the circulatory, respiratory, digestive, and nervous systems, among others. Brian Lynn, Outdoor Life, 21 Sep. 2020 Everything down to a layer of fat under their paw pads to keep their feet from freezing and a specialized circulatory mechanism called a countercurrent heat exchanger. oregonlive, 26 Feb. 2023 Alternate between plunging into the salty waters of the Pacific Ocean and sauna bathing, a practice linked to a slew of health benefits, including improved circulatory, cardiovascular, and immune functions. Julia Eskins, Travel + Leisure, 16 Feb. 2022 Cardiovascular fitness — the ability of heart and blood vessels to distribute and use oxygen during exertion — declines throughout adulthood as our circulatory capacity decreases. Lola Butcher, Discover Magazine, 2 Jan. 2023 Proper hydration is important to circulatory functions, so sip away and embrace the day. Stephanie Dolgoff, Good Housekeeping, 9 Nov. 2022 Loss of consciousness starts about 8 seconds after the last heart beat and circulatory standstill occurs after 10–15 seconds. Globe Staff,, 3 Jan. 2023 Orcas and penguins also have circulatory systems adapted to conserve heat, according to the American Museum of Natural History. Jacob Livesay, USA TODAY, 30 Dec. 2022 Rear passengers who stand six feet or less can sit (upright, even) for 100 miles or more without losing legs due to circulatory blockage. Larry Griffin, Car and Driver, 24 Dec. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1605, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of circulatory was in 1605

Dictionary Entries Near circulatory

Cite this Entry

“Circulatory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


cir·​cu·​la·​to·​ry ˈsər-kyə-lə-ˌtōr-ē How to pronounce circulatory (audio)
: of or relating to circulation or the circulatory system

Medical Definition


cir·​cu·​la·​to·​ry ˈsər-kyə-lə-ˌtōr-ē, -ˌtȯr- How to pronounce circulatory (audio)
: of or relating to circulation or the circulatory system
circulatory failure

More from Merriam-Webster on circulatory

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Which Came First?

  • baby chick with a brown egg
  • hot take or cold shoulder?
Name That Thing

You know what it looks like… but what is it called?

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?