- 1A round plane figure whose boundary (the circumference) consists of points equidistant from a fixed point (the centre): draw a circle with a compassMore example sentences
- In the normal geometry of flat space, the diameter of a circle is its circumference divided by pi.
- Pi, the ratio between a circle's diameter and circumference, has fascinated mathematicians for centuries.
- We will locate a marker on the circumference of a circle.
- 1.1Something in the shape of a circle: the lamp spread a circle of light they all sat round in a circleMore example sentences
- I don't know how they get white meat packed into the neat circles or oval shapes that they make chicken sandwich out of.
- When the petals fall a large circle of beautifully shaped brown seeds are left arrayed in spirograph formation.
- The beam of light aimed at the circle was in the shape of a circle.
- 1.2A dark circular mark below each eye caused by illness or tiredness: she was pale and rather beautiful, with dark circles around deep, exhausted eyesMore example sentences
- His hair was wild, and dark circles hung below his eyes.
- Her eyes were weary and bloodshot with deep dark circles under them.
- I see dark circles under my bloodshot blue eyes and wrinkles from at least four years of undue stress.
- 1.3British A curved upper tier of seats in a theatre or cinema: she sat in the front row of the circleMore example sentences
- The blueprint sees an auditorium retained, with seating in the circle on the first floor which could be used to watch theatre.
- There were so many choir wannabes that they filled the choir platform, the stalls and the circle seats.
- Even from my seat in the circle, Aida's blue eye-shadow looked excessive.
- 2A group of people with a shared profession, interests, or acquaintances: she did not normally move in such exalted circlesMore example sentences
- I prefer a few close friends to a wide circle of acquaintances.
- And at weekends they spend their hard-earned cash in pubs and clubs with a wide circle of interesting, cosmopolitan friends.
- Little by little he forges around himself a circle of acquaintances and friends.
verb[with object] Back to top
- 1Move all the way around (someone or something), especially more than once: they were circling Athens airport (as adjective circling) a circling helicopter [no object]: we circled round the islandMore example sentences
- Round and around they circled each other, lunging, stepping back, attacking and then defending.
- Two dogs were circling each other in the enclosed space.
- Turning to a working radar, we immediately spotted little white dots circling nearby Alcatraz Island.
- 1.1 [no object] (circle back) Move in a wide loop back towards one’s starting point: he paced away from her, then circled backMore example sentences
- We circled back towards J Street, passing the St. Francis of Assisi church.
- The offspring of the Manhattan Project are circling back toward Manhattan.
- The dog first heads away from the road, then quickly circles back toward the family.
- 1.2Form a ring around: the abbey was circled by a huge wallMore example sentences
- Seen from space, an aurora appears as a ring of energy circling a planet's polar region.
- The steel fence circling the ‘promised land’ looked rather imposing.
- Their house will be circled, surrounded.
- 1.3Draw a line around: circle the correct answersMore example sentences
- As he held the classified section toward me, I noticed a hastily drawn line circling one of the ads.
- Answer by circling the response that best describes you: Agree, Unsure, or Disagree
- She went through the ads with her pen, circling some and putting a single line alongside others.
circle the wagons
- North American • informal Unite in defence of a common interest: the Lakers quickly circled the wagons, against the Spurs and the crowd[with reference to the defensive position of a wagon train under attack]More example sentences
- We seem to be circling the wagons for self-protection.
- Conservatives circled the wagons around him after his comments about homosexuality.
- We all went through some tough times together, but we really circled the wagons.
come (or turn) full circle
- Return to a past position or situation, especially in a way considered to be inevitable: the region is being forced to come full circle and repeat the errors of its tragic past now it seems the wheel has turned full circle—the western is being revived[with reference to Shakespeare's King Lear v. iii. 165, ‘The Wheele is come full circle’: by association with the wheel represented in mythology and literature as turned by Fortune and symbolizing mutability]More example sentences
- Her career came full circle with a return to cycling.
- He has essentially come full circle, returning to the place where it all began some 17 years ago.
- Mrs Glendinning has come full circle by returning to the school she attended as a pupil.
go (or run) round in circles
- • informal Do something for a long time without achieving anything but purposeless repetition: the discussion went round and round in circlesMore example sentences
- The inquiry went round in circles and I was no wiser.
- We spent two hours arguing and going round in circles.
- No-one seems to be taking responsibility for this and we're just going round in circles.
Old English, from Old French cercle, from Latin circulus 'small ring', diminutive of circus 'ring'.