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See more synonyms for circular on Thesaurus.com
  1. having the form of a circle; round: a circular tower.
  2. of or relating to a circle: a circular plane.
  3. moving in or forming a circle or a circuit: the circular rotation of the earth.
  4. moving or occurring in a cycle or round: the circular succession of the seasons.
  5. roundabout; indirect; circuitous: a circular route.
  6. Logic. of or relating to reasoning in which the conclusion is ostensibly proved, but in actuality it or its equivalent has been assumed as a premise.
  7. pertaining to a circle or set of persons.
  8. (of a letter, memorandum, etc.) addressed to a number of persons or intended for general circulation.
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  1. a letter, advertisement, notice, or statement for circulation among the general public.
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Origin of circular

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin circulāris, equivalent to circul(us) circle + -āris -ar1
Related formscir·cu·lar·i·ty, cir·cu·lar·ness, nouncir·cu·lar·ly, adverbnon·cir·cu·lar, adjectivenon·cir·cu·lar·ly, adverbsub·cir·cu·lar, adjectivesub·cir·cu·lar·ly, adverbsub·cir·cu·lar·i·ty, nounun·cir·cu·lar, adjectiveun·cir·cu·lar·ly, adverb


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for circular


  1. of, involving, resembling, or shaped like a circle
  2. circuitous
  3. (of arguments) futile because the truth of the premises cannot be established independently of the conclusion
  4. travelling or occurring in a cycle
  5. (of letters, announcements, etc) intended for general distribution
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  1. a printed or duplicated advertisement or notice for mass distribution
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Derived Formscircularity (ˌsɜːkjʊˈlærɪtɪ) or circularness, nouncircularly, adverb
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 circular


late 14c., from Anglo-French circuler, Old French circuler "circular" (14c., Modern French circulaire), from Latin circularis, from circulus (see circle (n.)). The metaphoric circular firing squad is attested by 1990.

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1550s, "circular figure," from circular (adj.). Meaning "a notice circulated" is from 1818.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper