American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A public entertainment consisting typically of a variety of performances by acrobats, clowns, and trained animals.
- n. A traveling company that performs such entertainments.
- n. A circular arena, surrounded by tiers of seats and often covered by a tent, in which such shows are performed.
- n. A roofless oval enclosure surrounded by tiers of seats that was used in antiquity for public spectacles.
- n. Chiefly British An open circular place where several streets intersect.
- n. Informal Something suggestive of a circus, as in frenetic activity or noisy disorder: "The city is a circus of the senses” ( William H. Gass).
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In Roman antiquity, a large, oblong, roofless inclosure, used especially for horse- and chariot-races. It was rounded at one end, and had at the other the barriers or starting-places for the horses. The course passed round a low central wall, called the spina, which reached nearly from end to end, and was surrounded by tiers of seats rising one above another for the accommodation of the spectators. It was essentially an adaptation of the Greek hippodrome, but was used also, like the amphitheater, for gladiatorial contests, combats with wild beasts, etc.
- n. In modern times, a place of amusement where feats of horsemanship and acrobatic displays form the principal entertainment; the company of performers in such a place, with their equipage; the entertainment given.
- n. In England, the space formed at the intersection of two streets by making the buildings at the angles concave, so as to give the intervening space the form of circle: as, Oxford Circus, Regent Circus, in London.
- n. An inclosed space of any kind; a circuit.
- n. [capitalized] In ornithology, a genus of diurnal birds of prey, the harriers, typical of the subfamily Circinæ (which see) C. cyaneus is the common harrier of Europe; C. hudsonius is the North American marsh-hawk; and there are sundry other species.
- n. A traveling company of performers that may include acrobats, clowns, trained animals, and other novelty acts, that gives shows usually in a circular tent.
- n. A round open space in a town or city where multiple streets meet.
- n. historical In the ancient Roman Empire, a building for chariot racing.
- n. military, World War II A code name for bomber attacks with fighter escorts in the day time. The attacks were against short-range targets with the intention of occupying enemy fighters and keeping their fighter units in the area concerned.
- n. obsolete Circuit; space; enclosure.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Roman Antiq.) A level oblong space surrounded on three sides by seats of wood, earth, or stone, rising in tiers one above another, and divided lengthwise through the middle by a barrier around which the track or course was laid out. It was used for chariot races, games, and public shows.
- n. A circular inclosure for the exhibition of feats of horsemanship, acrobatic displays, etc. Also, the company of performers, with their equipage.
- n. rare Circuit; space; inclosure.
- n. an arena consisting of an oval or circular area enclosed by tiers of seats and usually covered by a tent
- n. a genus of haws comprising the harriers
- n. a travelling company of entertainers; including trained animals
- n. a frenetic disorganized (and often comic) disturbance suggestive of a large public entertainment
- n. (antiquity) an open-air stadium for chariot races and gladiatorial games
- n. a performance given by a traveling company of acrobats, clowns, and trained animals
- From Latin circus ("ring, circle"), from Proto-Indo-European *sker, *ker (“to turn, to bend”) . (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, round arena, from Latin, circus, circle; see circle. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Easily lost in this circus is the careful work that members of Congress do in holding hearings, passing legislation, and taking care of problems brought to their attention by constituents and the press.”
“A surefire sign that the circus is almost over: they send in the clowns, and McConnell is a clown extraordinaire.”
“Then that blends with what I call circus, which a modern critic would call an amusement-park ride, which is, you know, the gladiators, or horse races, or football teams, or things like that, which are exciting and are emotional.”
“The circus is a magnet for runaway mavericks and outcasts, and one early subplot involves a potential bomb threat generated by one of the more aberrant workmen.”
“Circus" has no difficulty finding all the usual, romantically enthralling ideals contained within circus life, which unfortunately causes a lot of the series to feel predictable.”
“This intimate, old-fashioned, one-ring circus is based in Manhattan and was started by two American jugglers in the mid-1970s.”
“Oh, and a trip to the Moscow state circus is not an adequate substitute for the opera or ballet visit also promised in the tour literature - but we shall draw a veil over some of the turns there, which if nothing else provided the UK visitors with a culture shock.”
“Yet computers have been crowned with a halo of exaggerated glamor, and the TV election-predicting circus is a classic example.”
“Now he's dead, and the memorial service circus is over, let him RIP.”
“I am most definitely not an animal rights person, but training animals to perform in a circus is cruelty.”
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Words and collocations associated with political scandal
From wikipedia: "The following is a list of English words without rhymes, i.e. a list of words in the English language which rhyme with no other English words in the sense that they are pronounced ...
shivarees, fiestas, and other celebrations
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