Definition of circus
1a : a large arena enclosed by tiers of seats on three or all four sides and used especially for sports or spectacles (such as athletic contests, exhibitions of horsemanship, or in ancient times chariot racing)b : a public spectacle
2a : an arena often covered by a tent and used for variety shows usually including feats of physical skill, wild animal acts, and performances by clownsb : a circus performancec : the physical plant, livestock, and personnel of such a circusd : something suggestive of a circus (as in frenzied activity, sensationalism, theatricality, or razzle-dazzle) a media circus
circusyplay \-kə-sē\ adjective
Examples of circus in a Sentence
He worked for a small circus.
We're going to the circus.
Recent Examples of circus from the Web
Circus music filled the air before the show and pop and hot dogs were for sale at booths made to look like circus wagons.
Kyrie Irving's circus shot from beyond the 3-point arc resulted in a 4-point play for Cleveland.
Devil's Dozen Donut Shop in Little Italy is observing the holiday by unveiling new flavors, such as circus animal cookie donut, the classic Homer Simpson (DOH)nut, a birthday cake batter donut and a funfetti old fashioned.
Late 1990s BOB CHILD AP Big circus font, bold letters and a jersey that was easily distinguishable.
Richardson caught 15 passes in those four games for 213 yards and two touchdowns, and made a few circus catches in the two playoff games against Detroit and Atlanta.
The humans-only circus is coming to Oswego's annual PrairieFest.
Obviously, though, there's no benefit whatsoever to the species when the purpose is to go to a circus.
For elephants in circuses, the training extends further.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'circus'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of circus
Middle English, from Latin, circle, circus — more at circle
First Known Use: 14th century
CIRCUS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of circus for English Language Learners
: a traveling show that is often performed in a tent and that typically includes trained animals, clowns, acrobats, etc.
: a situation or event that is very busy, lively, and confusing and that attracts a lot of attention
: a circular area where several streets meet
CIRCUS Defined for Kids
Definition of circus for Students
: a traveling show that often takes place under a tent and that usually includes acts performed by acrobats, clowns, and trained animals
Seen and Heard
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