Definition of circulate in English:

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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.
socialize, mingle
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.



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: /ˈsəːkjəleɪtə/
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 '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.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: cir¦cu|late

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