circle

[ sur-kuhl ]
/ ˈsɜr kəl /
|||

noun

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

    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
Related forms

Synonym study

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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for circling

British Dictionary definitions for circling

circle

/ (ˈsɜːkəl) /

noun

verb

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

Word Origin for circle

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

Medicine definitions for circling

circle

[ sûrkəl ]

n.

A ring-shaped structure or group of structures.
A line or process with every point equidistant from the center.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for circling

circle

[ sûrkəl ]

A closed curve whose points are all on the same plane and at the same distance from a fixed point (the center).
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with circling

circle


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

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.