circumscribe [ sur-k uhm-skrahyb, sur-k uhm- skrahyb] SYNONYMS | EXAMPLES | WORD ORIGIN verb (used with object), cir·cum·scribed, cir·cum·scrib·ing. to draw a line around; encircle: to circumscribe a city on a map. to enclose within bounds; limit or confine, especially narrowly: Her social activities are circumscribed by school regulations. to mark off; define; delimit: to circumscribe the area of a science. . Geometry to draw (a figure) around another figure so as to touch as many points as possible. (of a figure) to enclose (another figure) in this manner. Origin of circumscribe 1350–1400; Middle English
Related forms cir·cum·scrib·a·ble, adjective cir·cum·scrib·er, noun non·cir·cum·scribed, adjective un·cir·cum·scrib·a·ble, adjective un·cir·cum·scribed, adjective Synonyms for circumscribe
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Related Words for circumscribe delineate
prelimit Examples from the Web for circumscribe Historical Examples of circumscribe
The first step to be taken must be to endeavour to
circumscribe their limits.
A new spirit has now gone abroad which no walls can bound or
I know what you mean, but I do not intend to allow any duty to
circumscribe my art.
It was his professed object to restrain Russia, and to
circumscribe her limits.
circumscribe their power a new army of Mamelukes was formed, called the Borgis. British Dictionary definitions for circumscribe verb (tr) to restrict within limits to mark or set the bounds of to draw a geometric construction around (another construction) so that the two are in contact but do not intersect Compare inscribe (def. 4) to draw a line round Derived Forms circumscribable, adjective circumscriber, noun Word Origin for circumscribe
C15: from Latin
circumscrībere, from circum- + scrībere to write
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 circumscribe v.
late 14c., from Latin
circumscribere "to make a circle around, encircle, draw a line around; limit, restrain, confine, set the boundaries of," from circum- "around" (see circum-) + scribere "write" (see script (n.)). Related: Circumscribed; circumscribing.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
To draw a figure around another figure so as to touch as many points as possible. A circle that is circumscribed around a triangle touches it at each of the triangle's three vertices.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.