Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[surk] /sɜrk/
circle; ring.
a bowl-shaped, steep-walled mountain basin carved by glaciation, often containing a small, round lake.
Origin of cirque
1595-1605; < French < Latin circus; see circus Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for cirque
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The great cirque is now coming more and more distinctly into view, though still some miles ahead.

  • The cirque, therefore, is at once the product of the glacier and its generator and conserver.

    Mount Rainier Various
  • The cirque Rocambeau had gone round without perceiving that the world had gone round too.

    The Mountebank William J. Locke
  • It was his first engagement, outside the cirque Rocambeau, his first day with the troupe.

    The Mountebank William J. Locke
  • They did things in the great manner in the cirque Rocambeau.

    The Mountebank William J. Locke
British Dictionary definitions for cirque


Also called corrie, cwm. a semicircular or crescent-shaped basin with steep sides and a gently sloping floor formed in mountainous regions by the erosive action of a glacier
(archaeol) an obsolete term for circle (sense 11)
(poetic) a circle, circlet, or ring
Word Origin
C17: from French, from Latin circus ring, circle, circus
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for cirque

c.1600, "a circus," from French cirque (14c.), from Latin circus (see circus). Cf. Italian and Spanish circo.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
cirque in Science
A steep, amphitheatre-shaped hollow occurring at the upper end of a mountain valley, especially one forming the head of a glacier or stream. Cirques are formed by the erosive activity of glaciers and often contain a small lake.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for cirque

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for cirque

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for cirque