\ ˈsərk How to pronounce cirque (audio) \

Definition of cirque

1 archaic : circus
3 : a deep steep-walled basin on a mountain usually forming the blunt end of a valley

Illustration of cirque

Illustration of cirque

cirque 3

Synonyms for cirque


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of cirque in a Sentence

the harvest moon was a glowing cirque in autumn sky
Recent Examples on the Web Cascades with an overloaded pack and had just slogged a mile up 1,000 vertical feet, pausing before the valley that would lead to a cirque, when Ms. Ultralight swept up silently behind me wearing minimalist trail-running shoes and a teensy pack. Will Taylor, Outside Online, 26 June 2022 Go ultra early to avoid swarms of people, and enjoy an easy stroll through a dense pine forest that spits you out at the foot of Hallett Peak’s impressive alpine cirque. Emily Pennington, Outside Online, 16 Oct. 2020 Situated along the main scenic drive in Great Basin National Park, this viewpoint gazes out at a craggy alpine cirque, ancient bristlecone forests, and, of course, the summit proper. Emily Pennington, Outside Online, 10 Jan. 2022 From Holiday in the Park at Six Flags to a holiday cirque show, there is plenty to do this season. Annie Alleman,, 15 Nov. 2021 The lake, a glacial tarn called Roopkund, was more than sixteen thousand feet above sea level, an arduous five-day trek from human habitation, in a mountain cirque surrounded by snowfields and battered by storms. Douglas Preston, The New Yorker, 7 Dec. 2020 The 24-hour cirque du olé of Mi Tierra Cafe y Panadería downtown is a Tex-Mex touchstone. Mike Sutter,, 6 Feb. 2020 Featuring cirque artists and theatrical talent, this show is jam-packed with seasonal spirit. al, 4 Dec. 2019 Experience the magic of Christmas with dazzling performers and cirque artists, accompanied by holiday music. Jennifer Boehm,, 3 Dec. 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cirque.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of cirque

1601, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cirque

French, from Latin circus

Learn More About cirque

Dictionary Entries Near cirque




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for cirque

Last Updated

4 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cirque.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on cirque Encyclopedia article about cirque


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!