View synonyms for circulation


[ sur-kyuh-ley-shuhn ]


  1. an act or instance of circulating, moving in a circle or circuit, or flowing.
  2. the continuous movement of blood through the heart and blood vessels, which is maintained chiefly by the action of the heart, and by which nutrients, oxygen, and internal secretions are carried to and wastes are carried from the body tissues.
  3. any similar circuit, passage, or flow, as of the sap in plants or air currents in a room.
  4. the transmission or passage of anything from place to place or person to person:

    the circulation of a rumor; the circulation of money.

  5. the distribution of copies of a periodical among readers.
  6. the number of copies of each issue of a newspaper, magazine, etc., distributed.
  7. coins, notes, bills, etc., in use as money; currency.
  8. Library Science.
    1. the lending of library books and other materials.
    2. the number of books and materials that a library has lent.
    3. the processes connected with providing for the use of library materials, including reserve operations, recall, and record-keeping.
  9. Hydraulics. a quantity analogous to work and equal to the line integral of the component of fluid velocity about a closed contour.


/ ˌsɜːkjʊˈleɪʃən /


  1. the transport of oxygenated blood through the arteries to the capillaries, where it nourishes the tissues, and the return of oxygen-depleted blood through the veins to the heart, where the cycle is renewed
  2. the flow of sap through a plant
  3. any movement through a closed circuit
  4. the spreading or transmission of something to a wider group of people or area
  5. (of air and water) free movement within an area or volume
    1. the distribution of newspapers, magazines, etc
    2. the number of copies of an issue of such a publication that are distributed
  6. library science
    1. a book loan, as from a library lending department
    2. each loan transaction of a particular book
    3. the total issue of library books over a specified period
  7. a rare term for circulating medium
  8. in circulation
    1. (of currency) serving as a medium of exchange
    2. (of people) active in a social or business context


/ sûr′kyə-lāshən /

  1. The flow of fluid, especially blood, through the tissues of an organism to allow for the transport and exchange of blood gases, nutrients, and waste products. In vertebrates, the circulation of blood to the tissues and back to the heart is caused by the pumping action of the heart. Oxygen-rich blood is carried away from the heart by the arteries, and oxygen-poor blood is returned to the heart by the veins. The circulation of lymph occurs in a separate system of vessels (the lymphatic system). Lymph is pumped back to the heart by the contraction of skeletal muscles.

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Other Words From

  • cir·cu·la·ble [sur, -ky, uh, -l, uh, -b, uh, l], adjective
  • inter·circu·lation noun
  • noncir·cu·lation noun
  • precir·cu·lation noun
  • recir·cu·lation noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of circulation1

1400–50 for an earlier alchemical sense; 1645–55 circulation fordef 1; late Middle English circulacioun < Latin circulātiōn- (stem of circulātiō ), equivalent to circulāt ( us ) ( circulate ) + -iōn- -ion

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. in circulation, participating actively in social or business life:

    After a month in the hospital, he's back in circulation.

More idioms and phrases containing circulation

see in circulation ; out of circulation .

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Example Sentences

Representatives of the tech community recorded a video which has had wide circulation on social media, supporting the detained employees.

Indeed, since Facebook’s algorithms give more weight to posts with some time and circulation behind them, Zuckerberg’s ban might not have any significant impact at all.

This technique is proven to increase circulation and reduce soreness.

Until that moment, the movement was not being widely covered in the mainstream press, but the video’s circulation compelled larger media organizations to pay attention.

Elsewhere, revenue within its “news media” business — which includes The New York Post and The Times of London — declined 41%, which included decreases in both advertising and circulation revenue.

From Digiday

And besides, the studies that do enjoy widespread media circulation focus on a very narrow segment of the LGBT community: gay men.

The Vatican says it is doing everything it can to take pedophile priests out of circulation.

A three-way tabloid circulation war was being waged amid a three-way mayoral election.

At its height, The Source had a reported circulation of 500,000 and was outselling Rolling Stone on the newsstand.

By 1991, The Source had become the industry bible, building a circulation of 40,000, with nearly $1 million in total revenue.

Almost one-quarter of the total supply printed has been placed in circulation.

Four engravings and at least six pamphlets, all focusing on the bawdy house story, were shortly in circulation.

Its entrance into and exit from banks is a flow, but not a circulation against goods.

A great many agents possess the power of attracting leukocytes into the general circulation.

In the diagram the horizontal arrows represent such mere banking operations, not true circulation.


Related Words

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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




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