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  1. an act or instance of going or moving around.
  2. a circular journey or one beginning and ending at the same place; a round.
  3. a roundabout journey or course.
  4. a periodical journey from place to place, to perform certain duties, as by judges to hold court, ministers to preach, or salespeople covering a route.
  5. the persons making such a journey.
  6. the route followed, places visited, or district covered by such a journey.
  7. the line going around or bounding any area or object; the distance about an area or object.
  8. the space within a bounding line; district: the circuit of the valley.
  9. Electricity.
    1. Also called electric circuit.the complete path of an electric current, including the generating apparatus, intervening resistors, or capacitors.
    2. any well-defined segment of a complete circuit.
  10. Telecommunications. a means of transmitting communication signals or messages, usually comprising two channels for interactive communication.Compare channel1(def 12).
  11. a number of theaters, nightclubs, etc., controlled by the same owner or manager or visited in turn by the same entertainers or acting companies.
  12. a league or association: He used to play baseball for the Texas circuit.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to go or move around; make the circuit of.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to go or move in a circuit.
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  1. ride circuit, Law. (of a judge) to travel a judicial county or district in order to conduct judicial proceedings.
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Origin of circuit

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin circuitus, variant of circumitus circular motion, cycle, equivalent to circu(m)i-, variant stem of circu(m)īre to go round, circle (circum- circum- + īre to go) + -tus suffix of v. action; cf. ambit, exit1
Related formscir·cuit·al, adjectivemin·i·cir·cuit, nounmul·ti·cir·cuit, nounmul·ti·cir·cuit·ed, adjectivenon·cir·cuit·ed, adjectivesub·cir·cuit, noun


See more synonyms for circuit on Thesaurus.com
2. tour, revolution, orbit. 7. circumference, perimeter, periphery, boundary, compass. 8. region, compass, area, range, field. 11. chain.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for circuit


    1. a complete route or course, esp one that is curved or circular or that lies around an object
    2. the area enclosed within such a route
  1. the act of following such a routewe made three circuits of the course
    1. a complete path through which an electric current can flow
    2. (as modifier)a circuit diagram
    1. a periodical journey around an area, as made by judges, salesmen, etc
    2. the route traversed or places visited on such a journey
    3. the persons making such a journey
  2. an administrative division of the Methodist Church comprising a number of neighbouring churches
  3. English law one of six areas into which England is divided for the administration of justice
  4. a number of theatres, cinemas, etc, under one management or in which the same film is shown or in which a company of performers plays in turn
  5. sport
    1. a series of tournaments in which the same players regularly take partthe international tennis circuit
    2. the circuitthe contestants who take part in such a series
  6. mainly British a motor racing track, usually of irregular shape
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  1. to make or travel in a circuit around (something)
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Derived Formscircuital, adjective

Word Origin

C14: from Latin circuitus a going around, from circumīre, from circum around + īre to go
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

Word Origin and History for circuit


late 14c., "a going around; a line going around," from Old French circuit (14c.) "a circuit; a journey (around something)," from Latin circuitus "a going around," from stem of circuire, circumire "go around," from circum "round" (see circum-) + ire "to go" (see ion). Electrical sense is from 1746. Of judicial assignments, from 1570s; of venues for itinerant entertainers, from 1834. Circuit breaker is recorded from 1874. Related: Circuital.

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"to go around," early 15c., from circuit (n.). Related: Circuited; circuiting.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

circuit in Science


  1. A closed path through which an electric current flows or may flow.♦ Circuits in which a power source is connected to two or more components (such as light bulbs, or logic gates in a computer circuit), one after the other, are called series circuits. If the circuit is broken, none of the components receives a current. Circuits in which a power source is directly connected to two or more components are called parallel circuits. If a break occurs in the circuit, only the component along whose path the break occurs stops receiving a current.
  2. A system of electrically connected parts or devices.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.