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[sur-kuh m-noo-teyt, -nyoo-] /ˌsɜr kəmˈnu teɪt, -ˈnyu-/
verb (used without object), circumnutated, circumnutating.
(of the apex of a stem or other growing part of a plant) to bend or move around in an irregular circular or elliptical path.
Origin of circumnutate
1875-80; circum- + nutate < Latin nūtātus, past participle of nūtāre to nod in assent, sway, totter
Related forms
circumnutation, noun
[sur-kuh m-noo-tuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, -nyoo-] /ˌsɜr kəmˈnu təˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i, -ˈnyu-/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for circumnutation
Historical Examples
  • Personally I believe that circumnutation is automatic—is primarily due to internal stimuli.

    Darwin and Modern Science A.C. Seward and Others
  • It is sufficient for my purpose to point out that Darwin's explanation of circumnutation is not universally accepted.

    Darwin and Modern Science A.C. Seward and Others
  • The bare fact that circumnutation is a general property of plants (other than climbing species) is not generally rejected.

    Darwin and Modern Science A.C. Seward and Others
British Dictionary definitions for circumnutation


another name for nutation (sense 3)
Word Origin
C19: from circum- + -nutate, from Latin nūtāre to nod repeatedly, sway
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
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