• synonyms


[sur-kuh m-nav-i-geyt]
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verb (used with object), cir·cum·nav·i·gat·ed, cir·cum·nav·i·gat·ing.
  1. to sail or fly around; make the circuit of by navigation: to circumnavigate the earth.
  2. to go or maneuver around: to circumnavigate the heavy downtown traffic.
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Origin of circumnavigate

1625–35; < Latin circumnāvigātus (past participle of circumnāvigāre), equivalent to circum- circum- + nāvigātus; see navigate
Related formscir·cum·nav·i·ga·ble [sur-kuh m-nav-i-guh-buh l] /ˌsɜr kəmˈnæv ɪ gə bəl/, adjectivecir·cum·nav·i·ga·tion, nouncir·cum·nav·i·ga·tor, nouncir·cum·nav·i·ga·to·ry [sur-kuh m-nav-i-guh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˌsɜr kəmˈnæv ɪ gəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

circumvent, circle, skirt, bypass, compass

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British Dictionary definitions for circumnavigate


  1. (tr) to sail or fly completely around
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Derived Formscircumnavigable, adjectivecircumnavigation, nouncircumnavigator, noun
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 circumnavigate


1630s, from Latin circumnavigatus, past participle of circumnavigare "to sail round," from circum "around" (see circum-) + navigare (see navigation). Related: Circumnavigated; circumnavigating; circumnavigable.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper