cir·​cum·​scrip·​tion ˌsər-kəm-ˈskrip-shən How to pronounce circumscription (audio)
: the act of circumscribing : the state of being circumscribed: such as
: definition, delimitation
the circumscription of her duties
: something that circumscribes: such as
: restriction
a circumscription of his power to act
: a circumscribed area or district

Examples of circumscription in a Sentence

such circumscriptions on the freedom of speech are antithetical to a free and open society electronic monitoring bracelets are sometimes used to impose a circumscription of movement on people awaiting trial
Recent Examples on the Web Conditions explicitly accounted by our model include warfare, circumscription, variation in productivity between different local communities, ability to generate surpluses, ability to delegate power, and restrictions on the growth of polities due to scalar stress. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 20 Jan. 2011 That said, the impact of Mr. Cervas’s circumscription has already been profound, creating the likelihood of highly competitive general-election campaigns from Long Island to upstate New York. New York Times, 28 May 2022 Longtime readers of the site, though, have noted that the site no longer functions this way, in part because the Internet isn’t currently a space conducive to blinders and circumscription. Ross Scarano, Billboard, 6 May 2019 REM candidates made the second round in 453 circumscriptions and its MoDem allies qualified in another 62. Gregory Viscusi,, 18 June 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'circumscription.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin circumscription-, circumscriptio, from circumscribere

First Known Use

1531, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of circumscription was in 1531

Dictionary Entries Near circumscription

Cite this Entry

“Circumscription.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2023.

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