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 circumnavigation (audio) \ noun
circumnavigator \ ˌsər-​kəm-​ˈna-​və-​ˌgā-​tər How to pronounce circumnavigator (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 The unprecedented masses of smoke created by bush fires in Australia has returned to its continent of origin after drifting across the Pacific Ocean and circumnavigating the globe, NASA said. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, "Dark smoke is circling the Earth. It’s from the Australia fires, NASA says," 16 Jan. 2020 But over the course of seven months and 80 train rides that circumnavigated the globe, the duo embarked on an adventure of a lifetime, starting in western Europe and linking to Russia, Mongolia, North Korea, Canada, Kazakhstan and beyond. Jennifer Nalewicki, Smithsonian, "The Ten Best Books About Travel of 2019," 21 Nov. 2019 Smoke from the wildfires has also circumnavigated the globe, NASA announced Tuesday. NBC News, "Heavy rain brings flash floods to parts of eastern Australia as bushfires rage on," 18 Jan. 2020 Choking smoke from the bush fires — which has literally circumnavigated the globe — is causing health concerns in rural and areas and urban centers such as Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne. Washington Post, "In the wake of bush fires, hunger-relief efforts mobilize in Australia," 17 Jan. 2020 The development of a viable maneuverable re-entry vehicle is a significant technological marker which in theory allows a ballistic missile to circumnavigate standard missile defense systems. Steve George And Bethlehem Feleke, CNN, "France, Germany and UK reiterate claim that Iran has nuclear-capable ballistic missiles," 5 Dec. 2019 Unlike that park, the whole ensemble can be circumnavigated via a continuous path atop thirty-inch-high walls. Alexandra Lange, Curbed, "How not to cheat children: Let them build their own playgrounds," 18 July 2018 The Valley-circumnavigating loop was completed in 2018. Mare Czinar, azcentral, "Want to hike the Maricopa Trail? Here's a good starting point if you're new to the route," 28 Nov. 2019 On July 2, 1937, Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan disappeared while attempting to become the first aviators to circumnavigate the globe at the equator. Rachel Hartigan Shea, National Geographic, "Why does Amelia Earhart still fascinate us?," 17 Oct. 2019

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

19 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Circumnavigate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for circumnavigate


How to pronounce circumnavigate (audio)

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

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