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

     

    circulate

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ˈsɜːkjəleɪt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɜːrkjəleɪt//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they circulate
    BrE BrE//ˈsɜːkjəleɪt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɜːrkjəleɪt//
     
    he / she / it circulates
    BrE BrE//ˈsɜːkjəleɪts//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɜːrkjəleɪts//
     
    past simple circulated
    BrE BrE//ˈsɜːkjəleɪtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɜːrkjəleɪtɪd//
     
    past participle circulated
    BrE BrE//ˈsɜːkjəleɪtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɜːrkjəleɪtɪd//
     
    -ing form circulating
    BrE BrE//ˈsɜːkjəleɪtɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɜːrkjəleɪtɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] when a liquid, gas or air circulates or is circulated, it moves continuously around a place or system The condition prevents the blood from circulating freely. circulate something Cooled air is circulated throughout the building.
  2. 2[intransitive, transitive] circulate (something) if a story, an idea, information, etc. circulates or if you circulate it, it spreads or it is passed from one person to another Rumours began to circulate about his financial problems.
  3. 3[transitive] circulate something (to somebody) to send goods or information to all the people in a group The document will be circulated to all members.
  4. 4[intransitive] to move around a group, especially at a party, talking to different people
  5. Word Origin late 15th cent. (as an alchemical term meaning ‘distil something in a closed container, allowing condensed vapour to return to the original liquid’): from Latin circulat- ‘moved in a circular path’, from the verb circulare, from circulus ‘small ring’, diminutive of circus ‘ring’.Sense (1) dates from the mid 17th cent.Extra examples Blood circulates through the arteries and veins. The book was circulated widely in Russia. The heart circulates blood around the body. There’s a story circulating around the office that you are about to leave the company. newspapers circulating among minority communities sugar circulating in the bloodstream The condition prevents blood from circulating freely.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: circulate