Word of the Day

Wednesday, November 06, 2002


\sur-kuhm-AM-bee-uhnt\ , adjective;
Surrounding; being on all sides; encompassing.
The self owes its form and perhaps its very existence to the circumambient social order.
-- Rom Harre, Personal Being: A Theory for Individual Psychology
Facing reality, then, implies accepting one's essential powerlessness, yielding or adjusting to circumambient forces, taking solace in some local pattern or order that one has created and to which one has become habituated.
-- Yi-Fu Tuan, Escapism
It's a voice that does something physical to me, that jumps out of the circumambient air and seizes hold of me like a thing that lives off the blood of other things.
-- T.C. Boyle, A Friend of the Earth
Romantic love . . . rarefies lust into an angelic standoff, a fruitless longing without which our energizing circumambient dreamland of song, film and fiction would be bereft of its main topic.
-- John Updike, "The Deadly Sins/Lust", New York Times, June 20, 1993
Circumambient is from Latin circum, "around, round about, on all sides" + ambire, "to go around, to surround," from amb-, "on both sides, around" + ire, "to go."
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