circumscribe

[ sur-kuhm-skrahyb, sur-kuhm-skrahyb ]
/ ˈsɜr kəmˌskraɪb, ˌsɜr kəmˈskraɪb /
||

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.
  1. to draw (a figure) around another figure so as to touch as many points as possible.
  2. (of a figure) to enclose (another figure) in this manner.

Origin of circumscribe

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin circumscrībere, equivalent to circum- circum- + scrībere to write
SYNONYMS FOR circumscribe
Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for circumscribed

British Dictionary definitions for circumscribed

circumscribe

/ (ˌsɜːkəmˈskraɪb, ˈsɜːkəmˌskraɪb) /

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 intersectCompare inscribe (def. 4)
to draw a line round
Derived Formscircumscribable, adjectivecircumscriber, 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 circumscribed

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

Medicine definitions for circumscribed

circumscribed

[ sûrkəm-skrībd′ ]

adj.

Bounded by a line; limited or confined.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for circumscribed

circumscribe

[ sûrkəm-skrīb′ ]

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.