the outer boundary, especially of a circular area; perimeter: the circumference of a circle.
the length of such a boundary: a one-mile circumference.
the area within a bounding line: the vast circumference of his mind.

1350–1400; Middle English < Late Latin circumferentia, equivalent to circum- circum- + fer- (stem of ferre to carry) + -entia -ence

circumference, diameter, radius, tangent.

1. periphery, circuit. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
circumference (səˈkʌmfərəns)
1.  the boundary of a specific area or geometric figure, esp of a circle
2.  the length of a closed geometric curve, esp of a circle. The circumference of a circle is equal to the diameter multiplied by π
[C14: from Old French circonference, from Latin circumferre to carry around, from circum- + ferre to bear]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1393, from L. circumferentia, neut. pl. of circumferens prp. of circumferre (loan-transl. of Gk. periphereia "rotundity, periphery"), from circum "around" + ferre "to carry" (see infer).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
circumference   (sər-kŭm'fər-əns)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. The boundary line of a circle.

  2. The boundary line of a figure, area, or object.

  3. The length of such a boundary. The circumference of a circle is computed by multiplying the diameter by pi.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
circumference [(suhr-kum-fuhr-uhns)]

The measure of the distance around a circle.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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