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

  • intransitive v. To move in or flow through a circle or circuit: blood circulating through the body.
  • intransitive v. To move around, as from person to person or place to place: a guest circulating at a party.
  • intransitive v. To move about or flow freely, as air.
  • intransitive v. To spread widely among persons or places; disseminate: Gossip tends to circulate quickly.
  • transitive v. To cause to move about or be distributed: Please circulate these fliers.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to move in circles or through a circuit
  • v. to cause (a person or thing) to move in circles or through a circuit
  • v. to move from person to person, as at a party
  • v. to spread or disseminate
  • v. to become widely known

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To move in a circle or circuitously; to move round and return to the same point.
  • intransitive v. To pass from place to place, from person to person, or from hand to hand; to be diffused
  • transitive v. To cause to pass from place to place, or from person to person; to spread.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To travel round; make a circuit of.
  • To cause to pass from place to place or from person to person; spread; disseminate: as, to circulate, a report; to circulate bills of credit.
  • To move in a circle or circuit; move or pass through a circuit back to the starting-point: as, the blood circulates in the body; the bottle circulated about the table.
  • To be diffused or distributed; pass from place to place, from person to person, or from hand to hand: as, air circulates in a building; money circulates in the country; the report circulated throughout the city.
  • n. A circulating decimal.

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

  • v. move in circles
  • v. become widely known and passed on
  • v. move through a space, circuit or system, returning to the starting point
  • v. cause to move around
  • v. move around freely
  • v. cause to move in a circuit or system
  • v. cause to become widely known
  • v. cause be distributed


From Middle English circulat, continuously distilled, from Latin circulātus, past participle of circulāre, to make circular, from circulus, circle; see circle.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin circulatus, past participle of circulare ("make circular, encircle"), a later collateral form of circulari ("form a circle (of men) around one's self"), from circulus ("a circle") (Wiktionary)


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  • And I write a lot about that in the book, and I write also about our trade craft training, which is -- in a lot of ways, it's training you how to have social skills, because you're learning to kind of circulate the diplomatic cocktail circuit and use that as a venue to find potential targets.

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