• synonyms


[sur-kuh m-nav-i-geyt]
See more synonyms for circumnavigate on Thesaurus.com
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.
Show More

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

course, tour, lap, route, district, deviation, diversion, perimeter, tract, winding, circumscription, gyration, whirl, ambit, zone, area, periphery, way, circle, wheel

Examples from the Web for circumnavigation

Historical Examples

  • December 27th: "Sailed from England on our circumnavigation."

    More Letters of Charles Darwin

    Charles Darwin

  • One of his ships completed the first circumnavigation of the globe.

  • Their greatest undertaking was the circumnavigation of Africa.

  • The priests in yellow looked on, profoundly impressed by our circumnavigation.

    Hilda Wade

    Grant Allen

  • There are various accounts of the circumnavigation of Africa in old times.

    Mythical Monsters

    Charles Gould

British Dictionary definitions for circumnavigation


  1. (tr) to sail or fly completely around
Show More
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 circumnavigation


1705, from circumnavigate + -ion.

Show More



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

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper