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

  • n. A plane curve everywhere equidistant from a given fixed point, the center.
  • n. A planar region bounded by a circle.
  • n. Something, such as a ring, shaped like such a plane curve.
  • n. A circular course, circuit, or orbit: a satellite's circle around the earth.
  • n. A traffic circle.
  • n. A curved section or tier of seats in a theater.
  • n. A series or process that finishes at its starting point or continuously repeats itself; a cycle.
  • n. A group of people sharing an interest, activity, or achievement: well-known in artistic circles.
  • n. A territorial or administrative division, especially of a province, in some European countries.
  • n. A sphere of influence or interest; domain.
  • n. Logic A vicious circle.
  • transitive v. To make or form a circle around; enclose. See Synonyms at surround.
  • transitive v. To move in a circle around.
  • intransitive v. To move in a circle. See Synonyms at turn.
  • idiom circle the wagons To take a defensive position; become defensive.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A two-dimensional geometric figure, a line, consisting of the set of all those points in a plane that are equally distant from another point.
  • n. A two-dimensional geometric figure, a disk, consisting of the set of all those points of a plane at a distance less than or equal to a fixed distance from another point.
  • n. Any thin three-dimensional equivalent of the geometric figures.
  • n. A curve that more or less forms part or all of a circle.
  • n. Orbit.
  • n. A specific group of persons.
  • n. A line comprising two semicircles of 30 yards radius centred on the wickets joined by straight lines parallel to the pitch used to enforce field restrictions in a one-day match.
  • n. A ritual circle that is casted three times deosil and closes three times widdershins either in the air with a wand or literally with stones or other itmes used for worship.
  • n. A traffic circle or roundabout.
  • v. To travel around along a curved path.
  • v. To surround.
  • v. To place or mark a circle around.
  • v. To travel in circles.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A plane figure, bounded by a single curve line called its circumference, every part of which is equally distant from a point within it, called the center.
  • n. The line that bounds such a figure; a circumference; a ring.
  • n. An instrument of observation, the graduated limb of which consists of an entire circle.
  • n. A round body; a sphere; an orb.
  • n. Compass; circuit; inclosure.
  • n. A company assembled, or conceived to assemble, about a central point of interest, or bound by a common tie; a class or division of society; a coterie; a set.
  • n. A circular group of persons; a ring.
  • n. A series ending where it begins, and repeating itself.
  • n. A form of argument in which two or more unproved statements are used to prove each other; inconclusive reasoning.
  • n. Indirect form of words; circumlocution.
  • n. A territorial division or district.
  • transitive v. To move around; to revolve around.
  • transitive v. To encompass, as by a circle; to surround; to inclose; to encircle.
  • intransitive v. To move circularly; to form a circle; to circulate.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In elementary geom., a plane figure whose periphery is everywhere equally distant from a point within it, the center; in modern geom., the periphery of such a figure; a circumference.
  • n. A circular formation or arrangement; a circlet; a ring: as, a circle of stones or of lights.
  • n. A round body; a sphere; an orb.
  • n. Circuit; course.
  • n. Compass; inclosure.
  • n. Something conceived as analogous to a circle; specifically, a number of persons intimately related to a central interest, person, or event; hence, a number of persons associated by any tie; a coterie; a set: as, a circle of ideas; to move in the higher circles of society; the circles of fashion; the family circle.
  • n. A series ending where it begins, and perpetually repeated.
  • n. A complete system, involving several subordinate divisions: as, the circle of the sciences.
  • n. Circumlocution; indirect form of speech.
  • n. In logic, an inconclusive form of argument, in which two or more unproved statements, or their equivalents, are used to prove each other: often called a vicious circle, or argument in a circle.
  • n. The English equivalent of the name given in some countries, as in Germany, to certain administrative divisions.
  • n. In astronomy and geodesy, a piece of metal or glass with lines engraved upon it so as to form graduations dividing the circumference of a circle into equal parts; hence, any instrument of which such a graduated circle forms the part that is most important or most difficult to make.
  • n. A small shuttle made in the form of a horseshoe, and moving in a circular path.
  • n. In geography, a small circle the plane of which is perpendicular to the axis of the earth; a circle of the globe parallel to the equator: more usually called a parallel of latitude.
  • n. A line showing the hour on a sun-dial.
  • n. A circle of declination: referred to as the two-hour circle, etc., especially as the six-hour circle.
  • To encircle; encompass; surround; inclose.
  • To move around; revolve around.
  • To make to move in a circle or to revolve.
  • To move in a round or circle; circulate; revolve or turn circularly.
  • To form a circle; assume or have the form of a circle.
  • n. A bookbinders' wheel-shaped tool, having a design engraved on the rim or edge.
  • n. A circle of communicating arterioles on the sclerotic surrounding the optic nerve.
  • n. A ring of fibrocartilage which gives support to the auriculoventricular valve on each side of the heart. Also called circulus callosus Halleri.
  • n. The circumcircle of the triangle of similitude of three figures directly similar.
  • n. Second Lemoine circle. Same as cosine circle.
  • n. In gearing, the pitch-circle.
  • n. In surgery, the passage of chyme, after gastro-enterostomy, through the artificial opening into the intestine, and then its regurgitation, in consequence of antiperistaltic action, through the pylorus back into the stomach.
  • n. The mutually accelerating action of two independent but coexisting diseases.

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

  • v. travel around something
  • n. movement once around a course
  • n. a road junction at which traffic streams circularly around a central island
  • n. street names for flunitrazepan
  • v. move in circles
  • n. an unofficial association of people or groups
  • v. form a circle around
  • n. any circular or rotating mechanism
  • n. ellipse in which the two axes are of equal length; a plane curve generated by one point moving at a constant distance from a fixed point
  • n. something approximating the shape of a circle
  • n. a curved section or tier of seats in a hall or theater or opera house; usually the first tier above the orchestra


Middle English cercle, from Old French, from Latin circulus, diminutive of circus, circle, from Greek kirkos, krikos.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin circulus. Replaced Middle English cercle, from Old French cercle, from the same Latin source. (Wiktionary)



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  • "a round straight line with a hole in the middle."
    - anon.

    September 9, 2008

  • a town in Alaska, USA

    February 26, 2008

  • a small ring

    June 19, 2007