Definition of circumscribe in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsərkəmˌskrīb/


[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.
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.



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.


Pronunciation: /ˌsərkəmˈskripSH(ə)n/
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.


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

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cir·cum·scribe

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