Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The boundary line of a circle.
  • n. The boundary line of a figure, area, or object.
  • n. The length of such a boundary.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The line that bounds a circle or other two-dimensional figure
  • n. The length of such a line
  • n. The surface of a round or spherical object
  • v. To include in a circular space; to bound.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The line that goes round or encompasses a circular figure; a periphery.
  • n. A circle; anything circular.
  • n. The external surface of a sphere, or of any orbicular body.
  • transitive v. To include in a circular space; to bound.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To include in a circular or spherical space.
  • n. The line that bounds a circle; by extension, the bounding line of any regular plane curvilinear figure; a periphery: as, the circumference of a circle or an ellipse. The circumference of a sphere is that of a great circle of the sphere.
  • n. Hence Loosely, any bounding line: as, the circumference of a city.
  • n. The space included in a circle; anything circular in form.
  • n. A going about; circumlocution.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the boundary line encompassing an area or object
  • n. the length of the closed curve of a circle
  • n. the size of something as given by the distance around it

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French circonference, from Latin circumferentia, from circumferēns, circumferent-, present participle of circumferre, to carry around : circum-, circum- + ferre, to carry; see bher-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin circumferentia, circum around; ferre carry (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • It follows directly from this discussion, that for our sphere-beings the circumference of a circle first increases with the radius until the “circumference of the universe” is reached, and that it thenceforward gradually decreases to zero for still further increasing values of the radius.

    Chapter 31. The Possibility of a “Finite” and Yet “Unbounded” Universe

  • This means the circumference is about 1000 meters, so v is 1000 meters per minute, which yields a simulated gravity about 1/6 of Earth's -- the same as the moon (though the people inside move as though the gravity is Earth-normal).

    8/1/08: Launch Pad, day 2

  • Paul Rodriguez was a Mexican porter who from the upper and lateral part of his head had a horn 14 cm in circumference and divided into three shafts, which he concealed under a cap.

    Human horns

  • It makes tubes 44 stitches in circumference or straight pieces up to 44 stitches wide and takes up to a sort of medium chunky weight of yarn - just right for a tubular scarf but a bit narrow to make hats.

    Hurrah for new toys!

  • Lord Howe is a ring of land some one hundred and fifty miles in circumference, several hundred yards wide at its widest, and towering in places to a height of ten feet above sea level.

    MAUKI

  • The atoll of Hikueru lay low on the water, a circle of pounded coral sand a hundred yards wide, twenty miles in circumference, and from three to five feet above high-water mark.

    THE HOUSE OF MAPUHI

  • Unfortunately that means my jeans are quite uncomforable to wear, because the belt circumference is now at least two holes smaller than the waistband of the jeans.

    Cheeseburger Gothic » Burger Lite 5 March

  • The park circumference is approximately 40 kilometers (km), extending from the bridge at Ürgüp then leading north for 6 km following the River Damsa.

    Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappodocia, Turkey

  • Large Hadron collider is 27 Km in circumference and will accelerates protons to 99. 99999% the speed of light (I might not have gotten the right number of 9s, sorry if this spoils your calculations if you are trying this at home).

    Boing Boing

  • The method of calculating mass from femur circumference is clearly not very reliable, but I like it anyway, because (as detailed in the supp.inf. of the Turiasaurus paper) for giant sauropods it gives estimates as low as when conventional methods are combined with very low assumed densities (to account for all the air sacs) -- 29 t for Brachiosaurus brancai.

    Biggest…. sauropod…. ever (part…. I)

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