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 Armstrong was the backup commander for the Apollo 8 flight that became the first vehicle to leave Earth’s gravity and circumnavigate the Moon. Jamie Turner,, "How Neil Armstrong earned the moon landing’s lead role: Apollo 11 at 50," 16 July 2019 And then, on Christmas Eve, astronaut Bill Anders captured his iconic photograph of Earth from the Apollo 8 spacecraft while circumnavigating the Moon. Mitch Goodwin, Quartzy, "How David Bowie created “Space Oddity,” the ultimate space anthem," 12 July 2019 Low Earth orbit is where the International Space Station circumnavigates the planet, and where many military and commercial satellites are situated. Alex Horton, Washington Post, "A secretive space drone just broke its own orbit record, and almost no one knows what it’s doing," 27 Aug. 2019 Portuguese men-of-war set sail under translucent inflatable bladders, circumnavigating the earth like their namesake ship. Julian Lucas, Harper's magazine, "New Books," 22 July 2019 Larry Diamond, a respected political scientist at Stanford, has spent 40 years circumnavigating the globe promoting democracy in Nigeria, Venezuela and some 70 other countries. New York Times, "Democracy in Crisis," 15 June 2019 But these kinds of adventures are just par for the course—if that course was circumnavigating the globe in a hot air balloon—for members of The Explorer’s Club. Georgia Frances King, Quartz, "The world’s most famous explorers on how they handle high-stress situations," 14 Aug. 2019 To be the first person on earth to circumnavigate Africa—more than 22,000 miles and 30 countries—in an electric vehicle loaded with foldable solar panels. Ashlea Halpern, Condé Nast Traveler, "Mario Rigby Is Cycling Across Canada for 72 Days to Make a Point," 8 July 2019 On July 2, 1937, Amelia Earhart flew toward Howland Island, one of the last stops on her attempt to circumnavigate the globe. Alec Forssmann, National Geographic, "Missing! The unsolved mystery of Amelia Earhart's last flight," 1 July 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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Statistics for circumnavigate

Last Updated

12 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for circumnavigate

The first known use of circumnavigate was in 1634

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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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Comments on circumnavigate

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