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

     

    circumscribe

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ˈsɜːkəmskraɪb//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɜːrkəmskraɪb//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they circumscribe
    BrE BrE//ˈsɜːkəmskraɪb//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɜːrkəmskraɪb//
     
    he / she / it circumscribes
    BrE BrE//ˈsɜːkəmskraɪbz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɜːrkəmskraɪbz//
     
    past simple circumscribed
    BrE BrE//ˈsɜːkəmskraɪbd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɜːrkəmskraɪbd//
     
    past participle circumscribed
    BrE BrE//ˈsɜːkəmskraɪbd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɜːrkəmskraɪbd//
     
    -ing form circumscribing
    BrE BrE//ˈsɜːkəmskraɪbɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɜːrkəmskraɪbɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1[often passive] circumscribe something (formal) to limit somebody/something’s freedom, rights, power, etc. synonym restrict The power of the monarchy was circumscribed by the new law. They are still highly circumscribed in their authority.
  2. 2circumscribe something (specialist) to draw a circle around another shape
  3. Word Origin late Middle English: from Latin circumscribere, from circum ‘around’ + scribere ‘write’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: circumscribe