Share this entry

Share this page

circumscribe

Syllabification: cir·cum·scribe
Pronunciation: /ˈsərkəmˌskrīb
 
/

Definition of circumscribe in English:

verb

[with object]
1Restrict (something) within limits: their movements were strictly monitored and circumscribed
More example sentences
  • If one assigns to the authorities the power to imprison or even to kill people, one must restrict and clearly circumscribe this power.
  • From the earliest days of the new state there were efforts to circumscribe local authority powers.
  • The practice is severely circumscribed and tightly regulated.
Synonyms
restrict, limit, keep within bounds, curb, confine, restrain;
regulate, control
2 Geometry Draw (a figure) around another, touching it at points but not cutting it. Compare with inscribe.
Example sentences
  • The same circle circumscribes both the pentagon of the dodecahedron.
  • This he obtained by circumscribing and inscribing a circle with regular polygons having 96 sides.

Origin

late Middle English: from Latin circumscribere, from circum 'around' + scribere 'write'.

Derivatives

circumscriber

1
noun
Example sentences
  • The chief of Dasyus is Vala, whose name signifies circumscriber or ‘encloser.’
  • The illustration of God as the circumscriber and measurer popularly called ‘The Ancient of Days,’ is a hand colored engraving by the poet, painter and professional engraver William Blake.

circumscription

2
Pronunciation: /ˌsərkəmˈskripSHən/
noun
Example sentences
  • The disappearance of such spaces has meant the circumscription of our human possibilities, and not all the joggers' parks in the world can offer adequate recompense for that.
  • A significant minority were actively engaged in overcoming gender-based circumscriptions around their leisure pursuits.
  • Our circumscription by technology has also made us ‘autistic’ to one another, markedly eroding our social lives in recent years.

Definition of circumscribe in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day Sprachgefühl
Pronunciation: ˈSHpräkɡəˌf(y)o͞ol
noun
intuitive understanding of a language’s natural idiom…