Definition of circulate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsərkyəˌlāt/


1Move or cause to move 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 around
1.1 [no object] Move around a social function in order to talk to many different people.
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 or cause to pass from place to place or person to person: [no object]: rumors 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 (around/about), communicate, disseminate, make known, make public, broadcast, publicize, advertise, propagate, promulgate;
distribute, give out, pass around



Pronunciation: /-ˌlātiv/ Pronunciation: /-lətiv/
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.


Pronunciation: /ˈsərkyəˌlādər/
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.


Late 15th century (as an alchemical term meaning 'distill something in a closed container, allowing condensed vapor 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.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cir·cu·late

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