follow Dictionary.com

Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers

circulate

[sur-kyuh-leyt] /ˈsɜr kyəˌleɪt/
verb (used without object), circulated, circulating.
1.
to move in a circle or circuit; move or pass through a circuit back to the starting point:
Blood circulates throughout the body.
2.
to pass from place to place, from person to person, etc.:
She circulated among her guests.
3.
to be distributed or sold, especially over a wide area.
4.
Library Science. (of books and other materials) to be available for borrowing by patrons of a library for a specified period of time.
verb (used with object), circulated, circulating.
5.
to cause to pass from place to place, person to person, etc.; disseminate; distribute:
to circulate a rumor.
6.
Library Science. to lend (books and other materials) to patrons of a library for a specified period of time.
Origin
late Middle English
1425-1475
1425-75 for earlier senses; 1665-75 for current senses; late Middle English < Latin circulātus (past participle of circulārī to gather round one, Medieval Latin circulāre to encircle), equivalent to circul(us) circle + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
circulatable, adjective
circulative
[sur-kyuh-ley-tiv, -luh-tiv] /ˈsɜr kyəˌleɪ tɪv, -lə tɪv/ (Show IPA),
adjective
circulatory
[sur-kyuh-luh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈsɜr kyə ləˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA),
adjective
intercirculate, verb, intercirculated, intercirculating.
noncirculating, adjective
noncirculatory, adjective
precirculate, verb, precirculated, precirculating.
recirculate, verb, recirculated, recirculating.
uncirculated, adjective
uncirculating, adjective
uncirculative, adjective
well-circulated, adjective
Synonyms
3. disperse, spread, promulgate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for circulate
  • The rating will give you some idea of the unit's ability to circulate air.
  • Each year throngs of scientists circulate through the world's coral reefs, leaving reams of data in their wake.
  • These proteins continue to circulate in the bloodstream and can recognize new invaders that resemble past pathogens.
  • Nothing is new under the sun, but sometimes the word is slow to circulate.
  • At sea, the particles circulate for about one million years before coming to sedimentary rest.
  • It's an atrium that sweeps irregularly up through the middle of the building, where it will help both air and people circulate.
  • To this end, zillions of cells called lymphocytes circulate around the body, spoiling for a fight.
  • Every few weeks, turn the pile with a rake or pitchfork to circulate the air and moisture.
  • To recover the heat, the project's operators would have needed to fracture the rock and circulate water through it.
  • Brains that circulate between native and adopted countries.
British Dictionary definitions for circulate

circulate

/ˈsɜːkjʊˌleɪt/
verb
1.
to send, go, or pass from place to place or person to person: don't circulate the news
2.
to distribute or be distributed over a wide area
3.
to move or cause to move through a circuit, system, etc, returning to the starting point: blood circulates through the body
4.
to move in a circle: the earth circulates around the sun
Derived Forms
circulative, adjective
circulator, noun
circulatory, adjective
Word Origin
C15: from Latin circulārī to assemble in a circle, from circuluscircle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for circulate
v.

1540s (late 15c. as a past participle adjective), as a chemical term for alternating vaporization and condensation, from Latin circulatus, past participle of circulare "to form a circle," from circulus (see circle (n.)). Meaning "to move around, revolve" is from 1670s; of blood, from 1650s; of persons, "to mingle in a social gathering," from 1863. Sense of "to pass about freely" is from 1660s; of newspapers from 1885. Related: Circulated; circulating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
circulate in Science
circulate
  (sûr'kyə-lāt')   
To move in or flow through a circle or a circuit. Blood circulates through the body as it flows out from the heart to the tissues and back again.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for circulate

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for circulate

13
17
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with circulate