- (formerly) the orbit of a heavenly body.
- meridian circle.
verb (used with object), cir·cled, cir·cling.
verb (used without object), cir·cled, cir·cling.
- (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.
- 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
Synonyms for circle
Related Words for circlingencircle, rotate, surround, whirl, cincture, gird, enclose, circumscribe, pivot, ring, encompass, belt, spiral, roll, circulate, wheel, envelop, compass, coil, revolve
Examples from the Web for circling
Contemporary Examples of circling
The whir of the circling NYPD helicopter muffled their chants calling for unity and calling out police brutality.Protesters Demand Justice For Gurley As Gap Grows Between Cops and NYC
December 28, 2014
They envisioned warriors lost in battle, and women who died in childbirth, as honored spirits, circling the sun like hummingbirds.New Orleans’ Carnivalesque Day of the Dead
November 1, 2014
Congressional Republicans have been circling ever since like sharks trying to get at bloody meat.This Sexy Thriller Is Just the Document the Benghazi Commission Needs
September 15, 2014
At one point, John Woo was circling to direct it, but then the big divorce happened with Miramax and Disney, and it went away.Kevin Smith's Marijuanaissance: On 'Tusk,' 'Falling Out' with Ben Affleck, and 20 Years of 'Clerks'
September 9, 2014
Even gay conservatives and contrarians are circling, licking their chops.In Gay Rights Fights, Bullies Love to Play the Victim
April 4, 2014
Historical Examples of circling
He ran a short distance away from us, circling our cavalcade.A Woman Tenderfoot
Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson
Eudorus was up immediately and was circling around and around again.Buried Cities, Part 2
Grant hesitated, circling erratically with his victim close to the steps.Good Indian
B. M. Bower
They were circling the white mountain, ascending its lower slope.Two Thousand Miles Below
Charles Willard Diffin
It was proceeding slowly and seemed to be circling about us without approaching.The Flood
Word Origin for circle
c.1300, "figure of a circle," from Old French cercle "circle, ring (for the finger); hoop of a helmet or barrel" (12c.), from Latin circulus "circular figure; small ring, hoop; circular orbit" (also source of Italian cerchio), diminutive of circus "ring" (see circus).
Replaced Old English trendel and hring. Late Old English used circul, from Latin, but only in an astronomical sense. Meaning "group of persons surrounding a center of interest" is from 1714 (it also was a secondary sense of Latin circulus); that of "coterie" is from 1640s (a sense also found in Latin circulus). To come full circle is in Shakespeare.
late 14c., cerclen, "to shape like a globe," also "to encompass or surround," from circle (n.). From c.1400 as "to set in a circular pattern;" mid-15c. as "to move in a circle." Related: Circled; circling. To circle the wagons, figuratively, "assume an alert defensive stance" is from 1969, from old Western movies.
see full circle; go around (in circles); run around (in circles); run rings (circles) around; vicious circle.