small circle

a circle on a sphere, the plane of which does not pass through the center of the sphere. Compare great circle ( def 1 ).

1870–75 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
small circle
Compare great circle a circular section of a sphere that does not contain the centre of the sphere

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Example sentences
For example, if the first direction is to draw a circle, draw a small circle in
  the top left corner.
Only his parents and a small circle of old friends ever knew him.
Those who despise the current regime now regret their role in bringing a small
  circle of wealthy, authoritarian clerics to power.
It's about a degree off the pole, actually, so it makes a small circle in the
  sky over the course of a day.
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