Last modified on 18 December 2014, at 07:16

circle

EnglishEdit

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A circle

EtymologyEdit

From Latin circulus. Replaced Middle English cercle, from Old French cercle, from the same Latin source.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

circle (plural circles)

  1. (geometry) A two-dimensional geometric figure, a line, consisting of the set of all those points in a plane that are equally distant from another point.
    The set of all points (x, y) such that (x-1)2 + y2 = r2 is a circle of radius r around the point (1, 0).
  2. A two-dimensional geometric figure, a disk, consisting of the set of all those points of a plane at a distance less than or equal to a fixed distance from another point.
  3. Any thin three-dimensional equivalent of the geometric figures.
    Put on your dunce-cap and sit down on that circle.
  4. A curve that more or less forms part or all of a circle.
    move in a circle
  5. Orbit.
  6. A specific group of persons.
    inner circle;  circle of friends
    • Thomas Macaulay (1800-1859)
      As his name gradually became known, the circle of his acquaintance widened.
    • 1893, Walter Besant, The Ivory Gate, Ch.III:
      At half-past nine on this Saturday evening, the parlour of the Salutation Inn, High Holborn, contained most of its customary visitors. [] In former days every tavern of repute kept such a room for its own select circle, a club, or society, of habitués, who met every evening, for a pipe and a cheerful glass.
    • 1907, Robert Chambers, chapter 6, The Younger Set:
      “I don't mean all of your friends—only a small proportion—which, however, connects your circle with that deadly, idle, brainless bunch—the insolent chatterers at the opera, the gorged dowagers, []!”
    • 1922, Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit
      The Rabbit could not claim to be a model of anything, for he didn’t know that real rabbits existed; he thought they were all stuffed with sawdust like himself, and he understood that sawdust was quite out-of-date and should never be mentioned in modern circles.
  7. (cricket) A line comprising two semicircles of 30 yards radius centred on the wickets joined by straight lines parallel to the pitch used to enforce field restrictions in a one-day match.
  8. (Wicca) A ritual circle that is cast three times deosil and closes three times widdershins either in the air with a wand or literally with stones or other items used for worship.
  9. (South Africa) A traffic circle or roundabout.
    • 2011, Charles E. Webb, Downfall and Freedom, p.120:
      He arrived at the lakefront and drove around the circle where the amusement park and beach used to be when he was a kid []
  10. (obsolete) Compass; circuit; enclosure.
  11. (astronomy) An instrument of observation, whose graduated limb consists of an entire circle. When fixed to a wall in an observatory, it is called a mural circle; when mounted with a telescope on an axis and in Y's, in the plane of the meridian, a meridian or transit circle; when involving the principle of reflection, like the sextant, a reflecting circle; and when that of repeating an angle several times continuously along the graduated limb, a repeating circle.
  12. A series ending where it begins, and repeating itself.
    • John Dryden (1631-1700)
      Thus in a circle runs the peasant's pain.
  13. (logic) A form of argument in which two or more unproved statements are used to prove each other; inconclusive reasoning.
    • Joseph Glanvill (1636-1680)
      That heavy bodies descend by gravity; and, again, that gravity is a quality whereby a heavy body descends, is an impertinent circle and teaches nothing.
  14. Indirect form of words; circumlocution.
    • John Fletcher (1579-1625)
      Has he given the lie, / In circle, or oblique, or semicircle.
  15. A territorial division or district.
    The ten Circles of the Holy Roman Empire were those principalities or provinces which had seats in the German Diet.

SynonymsEdit

  • (two-dimensional outline geometric figure): coil (not in mathematical use), ring (not in mathematical use), loop (not in mathematical use)
  • (two-dimensional solid geometric figure): disc/disk (in mathematical and general use), round (not in mathematical use; UK & Commonwealth only)
  • (curve): arc, curve
  • (orbit): orbit
  • (a specific group of persons): bunch, gang, group

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

VerbEdit

circle (third-person singular simple present circles, present participle circling, simple past and past participle circled)

  1. (transitive) To travel around along a curved path.
    • Alexander Pope
      Other planets circle other suns.
  2. (transitive) To surround.
    • Dampier
      Their heads are circled with a short turban.
    • Coleridge
      So he lies, circled with evil.
  3. (transitive) To place or mark a circle around.
    Circle the jobs that you are interested in applying for.
  4. (intransitive) To travel in circles.
    Vultures circled overhead.

Derived termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

AnagramsEdit