Definition of circumvallate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌsərkəmˈvalāt/


[with object]
Surround with or as if with a rampart: the walls were circumvallated with a ditch
More example sentences
  • The settlement is circumvallated by a stake-fence, so decayed that one may gain ingress at a dozen places.
  • In short, his is not the way of the great and daunting poets who circumvallated his time.
  • Unfortunately, the usability of the interface is simply too circumvallated to exploit it properly; content is more likely chanced upon than directed to.


1Surrounded as if by a rampart: we looked at the circumvallate mountains
More example sentences
  • But, in between lengthy phrases and highly circumvallated metaphors, one finds precious gems of meaning
  • In the night of the 28th 2,000 French dragoons each laden with 60 pounds of gunpowder arrived at the circumvallating walls in disguise.
1.1 Anatomy Denoting certain papillae near the back of the tongue, surrounded by taste receptors.
Example sentences
  • Eight to 12 larger mushroom shaped (circumvallate) papillae, each surrounded by a circular trough, lie at the back of the tongue in a V-shaped formation; these have on average 250 taste buds each.
  • Foliate papillae are situated on the edge of the tongue slightly anterior of the circumvallate line.
  • Few days ago I saw something on TV about circumvallate papillae and ever since then I am very interested in that.


Mid 17th century (as an adjective): from Latin circumvallat- 'surrounded with a rampart', from the verb circumvallare, from circum 'around' + vallare, from vallum 'rampart'. The verb dates from the early 19th century.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cir·cum·val·late

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