Definition of circulation in English:

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Pronunciation: /səːkjʊˈleɪʃ(ə)n/


[mass noun]
1Movement to and fro or around something, especially that of fluid in a closed system: an extra pump for good water circulation
More example sentences
  • If any aspect of city life offers an opportunity for ‘reading the city’, it is the systems of movement and circulation which constitute urban transport.
  • What could have caused deep waters to form in the low latitudes and so markedly disrupt the usual system of deep water circulation?
  • Under the newly funded project, scientists have designed a system for monitoring coastal circulation and movement of distinct water types.
flow, motion, movement, course, passage
1.1The continuous motion by which the blood travels through all parts of the body under the action of the heart: three 20-minute sessions a week which make you breathe a bit harder can improve circulation
More example sentences
  • Fluid and proteins leak out of the blood vessels during blood circulation in the body.
  • Physically, it is thought to improve circulation and stimulate red blood cells.
  • This improves circulation, relieves pain, and relaxes tension in the muscles.
1.2The movement of sap through a plant.
2The public availability or knowledge of something: his music has achieved wide circulation
More example sentences
  • Academic science depends on the public circulation of knowledge and research.
  • The province is halting the production of any new books-on-tape for public circulation, while existing material is still available libraries.
  • I believe he has undermined the participatory principle of democracy in calling for the draft gender policy to be withdrawn from public circulation.
dissemination, spreading, communication, transmission, making known, putting about;
broadcasting, publication, propagation, promulgation;
distribution, diffusion, issuance
2.1The movement, exchange, or availability of money in a country: the new-look coins go into circulation today
More example sentences
  • That's just a small amount of extra money that came into circulation.
  • This money would re-enter into circulation as financial institutions invest it in other capitalistic ventures.
  • The gang plotted to put drugs money into normal circulation through betting.
2.2 [in singular] The number of copies sold of a newspaper or magazine: the magazine had a large circulation
More example sentences
  • Newspaper circulations everywhere have been falling for decades.
  • But now the three newspapers with the highest circulations in the country are USA Today, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal, all publications that are distributed nationally.
  • Magazine circulations are either static, growing for some newer titles, or slowly sliding.
distribution, readership;
sales figures


in (or out of) circulation

Available (or unavailable) to the public: there is a huge volume of video material in circulation
More example sentences
  • In normal circumstances, the amount of money in circulation should have gone up by about £400m since this time last year.
  • Tickets are now in circulation and are available from any committee member.
  • The scheme has taken more money out of circulation than I expected.
around, about, in existence, current, going on, prevailing, prevalent, widespread, pervasive, endemic, happening, in the air, abroad
1.1(Of a person) seen (or not seen) in public: Anne had made a good recovery and was back in circulation
More example sentences
  • The convicted smuggler reveals this was one of a number of ‘sting’ operations arranged with the authorities, some of which conveniently took rival gangsters out of circulation.
  • The councillor said the drop in crime figures was down to the fact that some people had been taken out of circulation for the past six months.
  • Habitual teenage criminals are sent straight back home to continue terrorising their districts rather than being taken out of circulation.


Late Middle English (denoting continuous distillation of a liquid): from Latin circulatio(n-), from the verb circulare (see circulate).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: cir¦cu|la¦tion

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