English

Definition of circle verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    circle

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ˈsɜːkl//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɜːrkl//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they circle
    BrE BrE//ˈsɜːkl//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɜːrkl//
     
    he / she / it circles
    BrE BrE//ˈsɜːklz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɜːrklz//
     
    past simple circled
    BrE BrE//ˈsɜːkld//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɜːrkld//
     
    past participle circled
    BrE BrE//ˈsɜːkld//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɜːrkld//
     
    -ing form circling
    BrE BrE//ˈsɜːklɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɜːrklɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] to move in a circle, especially in the air circle (around) (above/over somebody/something) Seagulls circled around above his head. He flew lower and circled around the lake. circle something The plane circled the airport to burn up excess fuel.
  2. 2[transitive] circle something to draw a circle around something Spelling mistakes are circled in red ink.
  3. Word Origin Old English, from Old French cercle, from Latin circulus ‘small ring’, diminutive of circus ‘ring’.Extra examples A buzzard was circling overhead. Several airliners were circling above the airport. She circled her birthday in red on the calendar. The helicopter was circling slowly, very low. The vultures were already circling around the dead animal. A small aircraft was circling overhead. Police helicopters circled above the park. Seagulls circled around the boat. The bell rang and the two boxers began circling each other. The circling birds in the sky above looked like vultures. The plane had to circle the airport for another 30 minutes before landing.Idioms (North American English) to join together with people who have the same ideas and beliefs as you, and avoid contact with those who do not, who may threaten or attack you When your way of life is threatened, you have to circle the wagons and defend yourself. They immediately circled the wagons around the senator to protect him. From the practice of arranging a wagon train in a circle to defend against attack.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: circle