[ sur-kuhl ]
/ ˈsɜr kəl /


verb (used with object), cir·cled, cir·cling.

verb (used without object), cir·cled, cir·cling.

to move in a circle or circuit: The plane circled for half an hour before landing.
Movies, Television. to iris (usually followed by in or out).

Idioms for circle

    circle the wagons,
    1. (in the early U.S. West) to form the wagons of a covered-wagon train into a circle for defensive purposes, as against Indian attack.
    2. Slang. to prepare for an all-out, unaided defensive fight: The company has circled the wagons since its market share began to decline.

Origin of circle

before 1000; < Latin circulus, equivalent to circ(us) (see circus) + -ulus -ule; replacing Middle English cercle < Old French < Latin, as above; replacing Old English circul < Latin, as above

synonym study for circle

11. Circle, club, coterie, set, society are terms applied to restricted social groups. A circle may be a little group; in the plural it often suggests a whole section of society interested in one mode of life, occupation, etc.: a sewing circle; a language circle; in theatrical circles. Club implies an association with definite requirements for membership and fixed dues: an athletic club. Coterie suggests a little group closely and intimately associated because of congeniality: a literary coterie. Set refers to a number of persons of similar background, interests, etc., somewhat like a clique ( see ring1 ) but without disapproving connotations; however, it often implies wealth or interest in social activities: the country club set. A society is a group associated to further common interests of a cultural or practical kind: a Humane Society.


Example sentences from the Web for circle

British Dictionary definitions for circle

/ (ˈsɜːkəl) /



to move in a circle (around) we circled the city by car
(tr) to enclose in a circle; encircle

Derived forms of circle

circler, noun

Word Origin for circle

C14: from Latin circulus a circular figure, from circus ring, circle

Medical definitions for circle

[ sûrkəl ]


A ring-shaped structure or group of structures.
A line or process with every point equidistant from the center.

Scientific definitions for circle

[ sûrkəl ]

A closed curve whose points are all on the same plane and at the same distance from a fixed point (the center).

Idioms and Phrases with circle


see full circle; go around (in circles); run around (in circles); run rings (circles) around; vicious circle.