Definition of circulate in English:


Line breaks: cir¦cu|late
Pronunciation: /ˈsəːkjʊleɪt


1Move continuously or freely through a closed system or area: [no object]: antibodies circulate in the bloodstream [with object]: the fan circulates hot air around the oven
More example sentences
  • A titer test doesn't measure immunity, but it does measure antibodies circulating in the system.
  • But some testosterone remains freely circulating in the bloodstream.
  • Some rogue pathogens seem to be freely circulating in that county.
flow, course, move round, go round
1.1 [no object] Move around a social function in order to talk to many different people: the couple circulated, chatting to their guests
More example sentences
  • When we were invited to a party we couldn't circulate as a couple.
  • We go to a restaurant and eat, and circulate to chat with other locals, trying to make a plan.
2Pass from place to place or person to person: [no object]: rumours of his arrest circulated [with object]: they were circulating the list to conservation groups
More example sentences
  • The manuscript had been circulated among various publishers, most of whom shied away from this provocative treatment of a sensitive subject.
  • Local people said that whistles and horns were circulated among the community for the scaled-down protest.
  • Rumours that an entrepreneur may buy the doomed factory have been circulating among workers and the local business community.
spread, spread about/around, pass around, pass on, communicate, disseminate, transmit, make known, air, put about, bandy about; make public, broadcast, publicize, advertise, publish, post, propagate, promulgate, blazon abroad, noise abroad; distribute, give out, issue, purvey
literary bruit about/abroad
spread, be passed around, get around, go the rounds
2.1 [with object] Send copies of a letter or leaflet to (a group of people): tutors were circulated with the handout
More example sentences
  • The company formally apologised to the community and circulated a leaflet explaining what had happened.
  • The school circulated a copy of the letter to parents prior to the Easter holidays.
  • The club had previously circulated letters to the community informing them about the recycling bins.


late 15th century (as an alchemical term meaning 'distil something in a closed container, allowing condensed vapour to return to the original liquid'): from Latin circulat- 'moved in a circular path', from the verb circulare, from circulus 'small ring' (see circle). sense 1 dates from the mid 17th century.



More example sentences
  • The present review is dealing with circulative transmission of plant viruses.
  • Since the circulative pathway of most insect vectored viruses is similar, our findings should be applicable to other virus-vector systems.
  • Afterward the work fluid is transported back to the first chamber through the second pipe using the porous structures thereof, thus forming a circulative cooling apparatus.


More example sentences
  • The group took Reactor 1 at the nuclear power station out of service yesterday to investigate vibrations on one of the gas circulators.
  • Over the previous two weeks, petition circulators collected more than 5,000 signatures.
  • Vornado is dedicated to building the best air comfort product, including air circulators, vintage fans, air softening humidifiers and air purifiers.

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