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a. A plane curve everywhere equidistant from a given fixed point, the center.
b. A planar region bounded by a circle.
c. Something, such as a ring, shaped like such a plane curve.
2. A circular or nearly circular course, circuit, or orbit: a satellite's circle around the earth.
3. A traffic circle.
4. A series or process that finishes at its starting point or continuously repeats itself; a cycle.
5. A group of people sharing an interest, activity, or achievement: well-known in artistic circles.
6. A territorial or administrative division, especially of a province, in some European countries.
7. A sphere of influence or interest; domain.
8. Logic A vicious circle.
v. cir·cled, cir·cling, cir·cles
1. To make or form a circle around: The hedge circles the fountain.
2. To move in a circle around: The ship circled the island.
To move in a circle. See Synonyms at turn.
circle the wagons
To take a defensive position; become defensive.

[Middle English cercle, from Old French, from Latin circulus, diminutive of circus, circle, from Greek kirkos, krikos; see sker- in Indo-European roots.]

cir′cler (-klər) n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
Like the shadow of a swift and silent death it circled the village, nose to ground, halting at last close to the palisade, where it almost touched the backs of several huts.
The leaping savages, the flickering firelight playing upon their painted bodies, circled about the victim at the stake.
He was crying with sheer rage and eagerness as he circled back and forth for a chance to spring in.