cirque

[ surk ]
/ sɜrk /

noun

circle; ring.
a bowl-shaped, steep-walled mountain basin carved by glaciation, often containing a small, round lake.

Origin of cirque

1595–1605; < French < Latin circus; see circus
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cirque

British Dictionary definitions for cirque

cirque

/ (sɜːk) /

noun

Also called: corrie, cwm a semicircular or crescent-shaped basin with steep sides and a gently sloping floor formed in mountainous regions by the erosive action of a glacier
archaeol an obsolete term for circle (def. 11)
poetic a circle, circlet, or ring

Word Origin for cirque

C17: from French, from Latin circus ring, circle, circus
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 cirque

cirque


n.

c.1600, "a circus," from French cirque (14c.), from Latin circus (see circus). Cf. Italian and Spanish circo.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for cirque

cirque

[ sûrk ]

A steep, amphitheatre-shaped hollow occurring at the upper end of a mountain valley, especially one forming the head of a glacier or stream. Cirques are formed by the erosive activity of glaciers and often contain a small lake.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.