circle ( circles plural & 3rd person present) ( circling present participle) ( circled past tense & past participle )
1 n-count A circle is a shape consisting of a curved line completely surrounding an area. Every part of the line is the same distance from the centre of the area.
The flag was red, with a large white circle in the center..., I wrote down the number 46 and drew a circle around it.
2 n-count A circleof something is a round flat piece or area of it.
usu N of n
Cut out 4 circles of pastry., ...a circle of yellow light.
3 n-count A circleof objects or people is a group of them arranged in the shape of a circle.
oft N of n
The monument consists of a circle of gigantic stones..., We stood in a circle holding hands.
4 verb If something circles an object or a place, or circlesaround it, it forms a circle around it.
This is the ring road that circles the city. V n
...the long curving driveway that circled around the vast clipped lawn. V around/round n
5 verb If an aircraft or a bird circles or circles something, it moves round in a circle in the air.
The plane circled, awaiting permission to land... V
There were two helicopters circling around. V adv/prep
...like a hawk circling prey. V n
6 verb To circlearound someone or something, or to circle them, means to move around them.
Emily kept circling around her mother... V around/round n
The silent wolves would track and circle them. V n
7 verb If you circle something on a piece of paper, you draw a circle around it.
Circle the correct answers on the coupon below. V n
8 n-count You can refer to a group of people as a circle when they meet each other regularly because they are friends or because they belong to the same profession or share the same interests.
He has a small circle of friends..., Alton has made himself fiercely unpopular in certain circles.
9 n-sing In a theatre or cinema, the circle is an area of seats on the upper floor.
11 If you say that you have come full circle or have turned full circle, you mean that after a long series of events or changes the same situation that you started with still exists.
come full circle/turn full circle phrase V inflects We've come full circle and dark-blue jeans are once again the height of style.
The Arctic Circle is an imaginary line drawn around the northern part of the world at approximately 66° North. n-proper the N
If you refer to a group of people as a charmed circle, you mean that they seem to have special power or influence, and do not allow anyone else to join their group.
...the immense role played by this very small charmed circle of critics.
Thedress circle is the lowest of the curved rows of seats upstairs in a theatre. n-sing
inner circle ( inner circles plural ) An inner circle is a small group of people within a larger group who have a lot of power, influence, or special information. n-count usu sing, oft N of n
...Mr Blair's inner circle of advisers.
quality circle ( quality circles plural ) A quality circle is a small group of workers and managers who meet to solve problems and improve the quality of the organization's products or services. (BUSINESS) n-count
Riddick's first move was to form a quality circle.
semi-circle ( semi-circles plural ) , semicircle A semi-circle is one half of a circle, or something having the shape of half a circle. n-count
They stood in a semi-circle round the teacher's chair and answered questions.
traffic circle ( traffic circles plural ) A traffic circle is a circular structure in the road at a place where several roads meet. You drive round it until you come to the road that you want.
in BRIT, use roundabout
vicious circle ( vicious circles plural ) , vicious cycle A vicious circle is a problem or difficult situation that has the effect of creating new problems which then cause the original problem or situation to occur again. n-count usu sing, oft N of n (Antonym: virtuous circle)
The more pesticides are used, the more resistant the insects become so the more pesticides have to be used. It's a vicious circle.
If you describe a situation as a virtuous circle, you mean that once one good thing starts happening, other good things happen, which cause the first thing to continue happening. n-sing
(Antonym: vicious circle)
Exercise creates its own virtuous circle. Once you start a programme and do it regularly, you'll feel so good you'll want to continue., ...a virtuous circle of investment and growth.