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  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.
  1. a letter, advertisement, notice, or statement for circulation among the general public.

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

Synonyms for circular

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for circular

Contemporary Examples of circular

Historical Examples of circular

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
  1. a printed or duplicated advertisement or notice for mass distribution
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.


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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper