Meaning of CIRCLE in English

I. ˈsərkəl, -ə̄k-, -əik- noun

( -s )

Etymology: alteration (influenced by Latin circulus ) of Middle English cercle, from Old French, from Latin circulus, diminutive of circus ring, from or akin to Greek kirkos, krikos ring; perhaps akin to Lithuanian kreĩvas crooked, Russian kriv', Greek korōnē ring — more at crown


a. : a bright ring (as around the moon) : halo

b. : a closed plane curve every point of which is equidistant from a fixed point within the curve : circumference , ring — see diameter , radius

c. : the plane surface bounded by such a curve — see area table, pi 2a


a. obsolete : the sphere in which a celestial body was thought to revolve

b. : the orbit of revolution of such a sphere

c. : the period of revolution through the orbit of such a sphere

3. : something having the shape of a closed curve or a section of one; as:

a. : ring , circlet

b. : crown , diadem

c. : an instrument of astronomical observation the graduated limb of which consists of an entire circle

d. : a balcony or tier of seats in a theater or opera house

e. : a group of people (as dancers) or things (as stones, campfires) forming a ring

f. : a circle of latitude or longitude

g. : a small circular park or garden

h. : rotary

4. : something having the shape of an area enclosed by a circle: as

a. : a circus ring

b. : a round plate or sheet

cutting cloth into circles


a. obsolete : a region thought of as bounded by a circle

in the circle of this forest — Shakespeare

b. : an area of action or influence : realm — compare sphere


a. : a series ending at its starting point : cycle , round

the circle of 24 hours

the wheel has come full circle

b. logic : fallacious reasoning in which something that ostensibly is being proved or demonstrated is taken for granted or covertly assumed especially in the premises

arguments in a circle are instances of begging the question


a. : things grouped in or as if in a system of coordinate members

a circle of sciences

b. : a group of people thought of as held together by a common point of interest

theatrical circles

: an exclusive group : coterie , clique , elite

the gossip of court circles

the charmed circle of 20-game winners

c. : a chapter or local group of any of various societies

8. : a territorial or administrative division or district:

a. : any one of the 10 territorial divisions of Germany under the Holy Roman Empire

b. : kreis

c. : a district in India for the issue of government paper currency

9. bookbinding : roll

10. : a circular course or path of movement ; specifically : the operation of rounding up cattle

he would … take the lead for the morning's circle — Will James

[s]circle.jpg[/s] [

circle 1b: AB diameter; C center; CD, CA, CB radii; EKF arc on chord EF; EFKL (area) segment on chord EF; ACD (area) sector; GH secant; TPM tangent at point P; EKFBPDA circumference


II. verb

( circled ; circled ; circling -k(ə)liŋ ; circles )

Etymology: Middle English cerclen, from cercle, n.

transitive verb

1. : to enclose in or as if in a circle : form a circle or oval around

the gridiron was circled with a cinder track

specifically : to draw a circle around for special attention (as for correction or deletion)

circle the misspelled words


a. : to move or revolve around : travel around or traverse so as to describe a circle, arc, or curved figure

fast planes circling the earth

b. : to cause to move in a circle

c. : to proceed in an arc or curve around (as for avoiding or eluding)

the ship circled the cape

circle an opposing end in football

3. : to form into a circle : make circular

intransitive verb


a. : to move around or proceed in or as if in a circle or circles

circle around over a landing strip

sometimes : to meander or proceed aimlessly

grass-mounds where water circled, running from scoops and cups to curves and brook streams — George Meredith

winding and circling, at last it reaches a conclusion from some point unforeseen — H.O.Taylor

b. : circulate

c. : to turn in a usually wide loop especially in reversing one's course — often used with back

circle back toward home

2. : to form, describe, or extend in a circle

the lighthouse sent out its slow steady circling beam — R.O.Bowen

Synonyms: see surround , turn

III. noun

: a residential street that curves and typically loops back on itself — used chiefly in the names of streets

IV. verb

- circle the wagons

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.