cir·​cum·​nav·​i·​gate | \ ˌsər-kəm-ˈna-və-ˌgāt How to pronounce circumnavigate (audio) \
circumnavigated; circumnavigating; circumnavigates

Definition of circumnavigate

transitive verb

: to go completely around especially by water circumnavigate the earth also : to go around instead of through : bypass circumnavigate a congested area

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Other Words from circumnavigate

circumnavigation \ ˌsər-​kəm-​ˌna-​və-​ˈgā-​shən How to pronounce circumnavigate (audio) \ noun
circumnavigator \ ˌsər-​kəm-​ˈna-​və-​ˌgā-​tər How to pronounce circumnavigate (audio) \ noun

Examples of circumnavigate in a Sentence

The ship circumnavigated the world. the first ship to circumnavigate the globe
Recent Examples on the Web Branson and his friends were attempting to circumnavigate the world, starting in Morocco. The Editors, Robb Report, 26 June 2021 Salem: The state’s aviation authority tried to circumnavigate Oregon’s land-use system in adopting a plan to extend the runway at Aurora State Airport, the state’s Court of Appeals determined. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 25 June 2021 This is a typical flight that Russian Aerospace Force Tu-95 bombers take to circumnavigate the Japanese home islands. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 21 June 2021 Meanwhile, as the coronavirus continues to circumnavigate the globe, the threat of dangerous variants looms. Sarah Ferguson, Forbes, 3 June 2021 By the 1980s, however, ships grew large and fast enough to circumnavigate the global in a cost-efficient manner. Daniel Tenreiro, National Review, 25 Mar. 2021 During her flight to circumnavigate the globe, Earhart disappeared on July 2, 1937 somewhere over the Pacific. Lea Lane, Forbes, 21 Mar. 2021 Two rooms of meticulous drawings show forking islands, vanishing islands, island mazes—even a floating island garden on a barge that was intended to circumnavigate Manhattan. The Economist, 8 Dec. 2020 Since teaming up on the AVP tour in 2015, the brothers estimate the cumulative miles from their work travels are enough to circumnavigate the globe three or four times. Thuc Nhi Nguyen Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 11 Nov. 2020

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

1634, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for circumnavigate

Latin circumnavigatus, past participle of circumnavigare to sail around, from circum- + navigare to navigate

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Time Traveler for circumnavigate

Time Traveler

The first known use of circumnavigate was in 1634

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Statistics for circumnavigate

Last Updated

3 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Circumnavigate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for circumnavigate



English Language Learners Definition of circumnavigate

formal : to travel all the way around (something) in a ship, airplane, etc.


cir·​cum·​nav·​i·​gate | \ ˌsər-kəm-ˈna-və-ˌgāt How to pronounce circumnavigate (audio) \
circumnavigated; circumnavigating

Kids Definition of circumnavigate

: to go completely around (as the earth) especially by water

More from Merriam-Webster on circumnavigate

Nglish: Translation of circumnavigate for Spanish Speakers


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