circumference

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noun cir·cum·fer·ence \sə(r)-ˈkəm(p)-fərn(t)s, -f(ə-)rən(t)s\

Definition of circumference

  1. 1 :  the perimeter of a circle The circle measures 22 inches in circumference.

  2. 2 :  the external boundary or surface of a figure or object :  periphery from the center to the circumference of the sphere

circumferential

play \-ˌkəm(p)-fə-ˈren(t)-shəl\ adjective

Examples of circumference in a Sentence

  1. What is the circumference of the Earth at the equator?

  2. The circle is 38 inches in circumference.

  3. The fence marks the circumference of the field.

Recent Examples of circumference from the Web

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

Did You Know?

Attempts have been made to measure the circumference of the earth since the time of Aristotle. The calculation that Columbus was relying on led him to think he could reach China by sailing west more quickly than by sailing east. But that measurement had calculated the earth's circumference as about a quarter too small, and the rest is history. Columbus wasn't the only one who got it wrong; many later attempts continued to produce different measurements for the earth's circumference—even though the Greeks had calculated it correctly way back in the 3rd century B.C.

Origin and Etymology of circumference

Middle English, from Medieval French & Latin; Medieval French, from Latin circumferentia, from circumferre to carry around, from circum- + ferre to carry — more at bear

Other Mathematics and Statistics Terms


CIRCUMFERENCE Defined for English Language Learners

circumference

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noun

Definition of circumference for English Language Learners

  • : the length of a line that goes around something or that makes a circle or other round shape

  • : the outer edge of a shape or area


CIRCUMFERENCE Defined for Kids

circumference

play
noun cir·cum·fer·ence \sər-ˈkəm-fə-rəns, -fərns\

Definition of circumference for Students

  1. 1 :  the line that goes around a circle

  2. 2 :  a boundary line enclosing an area A fence marks the circumference of the yard.

  3. 3 :  the distance around something



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