Definition of circumvallate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌsəːkəmˈvaleɪt/


[with object]
Surround with or as if with a rampart: the walls were circumvallated with a ditch
More example sentences
  • The settlement is circumvallated by a stake-fence, so decayed that one may gain ingress at a dozen places.
  • In short, his is not the way of the great and daunting poets who circumvallated his time.
  • Unfortunately, the usability of the interface is simply too circumvallated to exploit it properly; content is more likely chanced upon than directed to.


1 literary Surrounded or surrounding as if by a rampart: circumvallate mountains
More example sentences
  • But, in between lengthy phrases and highly circumvallated metaphors, one finds precious gems of meaning
  • In the night of the 28th 2,000 French dragoons each laden with 60 pounds of gunpowder arrived at the circumvallating walls in disguise.
2 Anatomy Denoting certain papillae near the back of the tongue, surrounded by taste receptors.
Example sentences
  • Eight to 12 larger mushroom shaped (circumvallate) papillae, each surrounded by a circular trough, lie at the back of the tongue in a V-shaped formation; these have on average 250 taste buds each.
  • Foliate papillae are situated on the edge of the tongue slightly anterior of the circumvallate line.
  • Few days ago I saw something on TV about circumvallate papillae and ever since then I am very interested in that.


Mid 17th century (as an adjective): from Latin circumvallat- 'surrounded with a rampart', from the verb circumvallare, from circum 'around' + vallare, from vallum 'rampart'. The verb dates from the early 19th century.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: cir¦cum|val¦late

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