English
circle
Pronunciation
• enPR: sûrʹ-kəl, IPA: /ˈsɜɹkəl/
• (British) IPA: [ˈsɜː.kəɫ]
• (America) IPA: [ˈsɝ.kəɫ]
Noun

circle (plural circles)

1. (geometry) A two-dimensional geometric figure, a line, consisting of the set of all those points in a plane that are equally distant from a given point (center).
Synonyms: coil, ring, loop
The set of all points (x, y) such that (x − 1)2 + y2 = r2 is a circle of radius r around the point (1, 0).
2. 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 (radius) from a given point.
Synonyms: disc, disk, round
3. Any shape, curve or arrangement of objects that approximates to or resembles the geometric figures.
Children, please join hands and form a circle.
1. Any thin three-dimensional equivalent of the geometric figures.
Cut a circle out of that sheet of metal.
2. A curve that more or less forms part or all of a circle.
The crank moves in a circle.
4. A specific group of persons; especially one who shares a common interest.
Synonyms: bunch, gang, group
inner circle
circle of friends
literary circle
• 1911, Thomas Babington Macaulay, “[https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/1911_Encyclop%C3%A6dia_Britannica/Goldsmith,_Oliver Goldsmith, Oliver]”, in 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica:
As his name gradually became known, the circle of his acquaintance widened.
• 1892, Walter Besant, chapter III, in The Ivory Gate: A Novel, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, […], OCLC 16832619 ↗:
At half-past nine on this Saturday evening, the parlour of the Salutation Inn, High Holborn, contained most of its customary visitors. […] In former days every tavern of repute kept such a room for its own select circle, a club, or society, of habitués, who met every evening, for a pipe and a cheerful glass.
• 1907, Robert William Chambers, chapter VI, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 24962326 ↗:
“I don't mean all of your friends—only a small proportion—which, however, connects your circle with that deadly, idle, brainless bunch—the insolent chatterers at the opera, the gorged dowagers, […], the jewelled animals whose moral code is the code of the barnyard—!"
• 1922, Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit
The Rabbit could not claim to be a model of anything, for he didn’t know that real rabbits existed; he thought they were all stuffed with sawdust like himself, and he understood that sawdust was quite out-of-date and should never be mentioned in modern circles.
5. The orbit of an astronomical body.
6. (cricket) 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.
7. (Wicca) A ritual circle that is cast three times deosil and closes three times widdershins either in the air with a wand or literally with stones or other items used for worship.
8. (South Africa) A traffic circle or roundabout.
9. (obsolete) Compass; circuit; enclosure.
• c. 1598–1600, William Shakespeare, “As You Like It”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act V, scene iv]:
in the circle of this forest
10. (astronomy) An instrument of observation, whose graduated limb consists of an entire circle. When fixed to a wall in an observatory, it is called a mural circle; when mounted with a telescope on an axis and in Y's, in the plane of the meridian, a meridian or transit circle; when involving the principle of reflection, like the sextant, a reflecting circle; and when that of repeating an angle several times continuously along the graduated limb, a repeating circle.
11. A series ending where it begins, and repeating itself.
• Thus in a circle runs the peasant's pain.
12. (logic) A form of argument in which two or more unproved statements are used to prove each other; inconclusive reasoning.
• That heavy bodies descend by gravity; and, again, that gravity is a quality whereby a heavy body descends, is an impertinent circle and teaches nothing.
13. Indirect form of words; circumlocution.
• Has he given the lie, / In circle, or oblique, or semicircle.
14. A territorial division or district.
The ten Circles of the Holy Roman Empire were those principalities or provinces which had seats in the German Diet.
15. (in the plural) A bagginess of the skin below the eyes from lack of sleep.
After working all night, she had circles under her eyes.
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Verb

circle (circles, present participle circling; past and past participle circled)

1. (transitive) To travel around along a curved path.
The wolves circled the herd of deer.
• 1733, [Alexander Pope], An Essay on Man. […], (please specify ), London: Printed for J[ohn] Wilford, […], OCLC 960856019 ↗:
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2. (transitive) To surround.
A high fence circles the enclosure.
• Their heads are circled with a short turban.
• So he lies, circled with evil.
3. (transitive) To place or mark a circle around.
Circle the jobs that you are interested in applying for.
4. (intransitive) To travel in circles.
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Circle
Proper noun
1. CDP in Yukon-Koyukuk, Alaska. Erroneously thought to be on the Arctic Circle, which is 50 miles further north.
2. A town/county seat in McCone County, Montana. Named after a cattle brand in the form of a circle.
3. the Circle line (London Underground) of the London Underground, originally the Inner Circle.

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