[ sur-kuh m-am-byuh-leyt ]
/ ˌsɜr kəmˈæm byəˌleɪt /

verb (used with or without object), cir·cum·am·bu·lat·ed, cir·cum·am·bu·lat·ing.

to walk or go about or around, especially ceremoniously.

Origin of circumambulate

First recorded in 1650–60, circumambulate is from the Late Latin word circumambulātus (past participle of circumambulāre). See circum-, ambulate

Related forms

cir·cum·am·bu·la·tion, nouncir·cum·am·bu·la·tor, nouncir·cum·am·bu·la·to·ry, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for circumambulate

  • Is this me, around whom children ran, as they would about a pillar or a monument, and thought it exercise to circumambulate?

    Arthur O'Leary|Charles James Lever
  • They kneel, clasp their hands, circumambulate the Buddha and file out.

    The Buddha|Paul Carus
  • Do thou, therefore, circumambulate that great hero cheerfully.

British Dictionary definitions for circumambulate


/ (ˌsɜːkəmˈæmbjʊˌleɪt) /


to walk around (something)
(intr) to avoid the point

Derived Forms

circumambulation, nouncircumambulator, nouncircumambulatory, adjective

Word Origin for circumambulate

C17: from Late Latin circum- + ambulāre to walk
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