American English

Definition of circus noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] a group of entertainers, sometimes with trained animals, who perform skillful or amusing acts in a show that travels around to different places
  2. 2the circus [singular] a show performed by circus entertainers, usually in a large tent called abig top We took the children to the circus.
  3. 3[singular] (informal) (disapproving) a group of people or an event that attracts a lot of attention A media circus surrounded the celebrity couple wherever they went. the American electoral circus
  4. 4[countable] (in ancient Rome) a place like a big, round, outdoor theater for public games, races, etc.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: circus