Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Cinque Ports [ Cinque + port .] (Eng. Hist.) Five English ports, to which peculiar privileges were anciently accorded; -- viz., Hastings, Romney, Hythe, Dover, and Sandwich; afterwards increased by the addition of Winchelsea, Rye, and some minor places.

Baron of the Cinque Ports . See under Baron .

Cinque-pace noun [ Cinque + pace .] A lively dance (called also galliard ), the steps of which were regulated by the number five. [ Obsolete] Nares. Shak.

Cinque-spotted adjective Five- spotted. [ R.] Shak.

Cinquecentist noun
1. An Italian of the sixteenth century, esp. a poet or artist.

2. A student or imitator of the art or literature of the Cinquecento.

Cinquecento noun & adjective [ Italian , five hundred, abbrev. for fifteen hundred. The Cinquecento style was so called because it arose after the year 1500.] The sixteenth century, when applied to Italian art or literature; as, the sculpture of the Cinquecento ; Cinquecento style.

Cinquefoil noun [ Cinque five + foil , French feuille leaf. See Foil .]
1. (Botany) The name of several different species of the genus Potentilla ; -- also called five-finger , because of the resemblance of its leaves to the fingers of the hand.

2. (Architecture) An ornamental foliation having five points or cups, used in windows, panels, etc. Gwilt.

Marsh cinquefoil , the Potentilla palustris , a plant with purple flowers which grows in fresh- water marshes.

Cinter noun [ French cintre .] (Architecture) See Center .

Cinura noun plural [ New Latin , from Greek ... To move + ... tail.] (Zoology) The group of Thysanura which includes Lepisma and allied forms; the bristletails. See Bristletail , and Lepisma .

Cion noun [ Old French cion . See Scion .] See Scion .

The cion overruleth the stock; and the stock is but passive, and giveth aliment, but no motion, to the graft.
Bacon.

Cipher noun [ Old French cifre zero, French Chiffre figure (cf. Spanish cifra , Late Latin cifra ), from Arabic çifrun , çafrun , empty, cipher, zero, from çafira to be empty. Confer Zero .]


1. (Arith.) A character [ 0] which, standing by itself, expresses nothing, but when placed at the right hand of a whole number, increases its value tenfold.

2. One who, or that which, has no weight or influence.

Here he was a mere cipher .
W. Irving.

3. A character in general, as a figure or letter. [ Obsolete]

This wisdom began to be written in ciphers and characters and letters bearing the forms of creatures.
Sir W. Raleigh.

4. A combination or interweaving of letters, as the initials of a name; a device; a monogram; as, a painter's cipher , an engraver's cipher , etc. The cut represents the initials N. W .

5. A private alphabet, system of characters, or other mode of writing, contrived for the safe transmission of secrets; also, a writing in such characters.

His father . . . engaged him when he was very young to write all his letters to England in cipher .
Bp. Burnet.

Cipher key , a key to assist in reading writings in cipher.

Cipher adjective Of the nature of a cipher; of no weight or influence. "Twelve cipher bishops." Milton.

Cipher intransitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Ciphered ; present participle & verbal noun Ciphering .] To use figures in a mathematical process; to do sums in arithmetic.

"T was certain he could write and cipher too.
Goldsmith.

Cipher transitive verb
1. To write in occult characters.

His notes he ciphered with Greek characters.
Hayward.

2. To get by ciphering; as, to cipher out the answer.

3. To decipher. [ Obsolete] Shak.

4. To designate by characters. [ Obsolete] Shak.

Cipherer noun One who ciphers.

Cipherhood noun Nothingness. [ R.] Goodwin.

Cipolin noun [ Italian cippollino , prop., a little onion, from cipolla onion (cf. English cibol ). So called because its veins consist, like onions, of different strata, one lying upon another.] (Min.) A whitish marble, from Rome, containiing pale greenish zones. It consists of calcium carbonate, with zones and cloudings of talc.

Cippus noun ; plural Cippi . [ Latin , stake, post.] A small, low pillar, square or round, commonly having an inscription, used by the ancients for various purposes, as for indicating the distances of places, for a landmark, for sepulchral inscriptions, etc. Gwilt.

Circ noun [ See Circus .] An amphitheatrical circle for sports; a circus. [ R.] T. Warton.

Circar noun [ See Sircar .] A district, or part of a province. See Sircar . [ India]

Circassian adjective Of or pertaining to Circassia, in Asia. -- noun A native or inhabitant of Circassia.

Circean adjective [ Latin Circaeus .] Having the characteristics of Circe, daughter of Sol and Perseis, a mythological enchantress, who first charmed her victims and then changed them to the forms of beasts; pleasing, but noxious; as, a Circean draught.

Circensial, Circensian adjective [ Latin Circensis , ludi Circenses , the games in the Circus Maximus.] Of or pertaining to, or held in, the Circus, In Rome.

The pleasure of the Circensian shows.
Holyday.

Circinal adjective [ Greek ... a circle.] (Botany) Circinate.

Circinate adjective [ Latin circinatus , past participle of circinare to make round, from circinus a pair of compasses, from Greek ... a circle.] (Botany) Rolled together downward, the tip occupying the center; -- a term used in reference to foliation or leafing, as in ferns. Gray.

Circinate transitive verb To make a circle around; to encompass. [ Obsolete] Bailey.

Circination noun [ Latin circinatio circle.]


1. An orbicular motion. [ Obsolete] bailey.

2. A circle; a concentric layer. [ Obsolete] "The circinations and spherical rounds of onions." Sir T. Browne.

Circle (sẽr"k'l) noun [ Middle English cercle , French cercle , from Latin circulus (Whence also Anglo-Saxon circul ), dim. of circus circle, akin to Greek kri`kos , ki`rkos , circle, ring. Confer Circus , Circum- .]


1. A plane figure, bounded by a single curve line called its circumference , every part of which is equally distant from a point within it, called the center .

2. The line that bounds such a figure; a circumference; a ring.

3. (Astron.) An instrument of observation, the graduated limb of which consists of an entire circle.

» When it is fixed to a wall in an observatory, it is called a mural circle ; when mounted with a telescope on an axis and in Y's, in the plane of the meridian, a meridian or transit circle ; when involving the principle of reflection, like the sextant, a reflecting circle ; and when that of repeating an angle several times continuously along the graduated limb, a repeating circle .

4. A round body; a sphere; an orb.

It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth.
Is. xi. 22.

5. Compass; circuit; inclosure.

In the circle of this forest.
Shak.

6. A company assembled, or conceived to assemble, about a central point of interest, or bound by a common tie; a class or division of society; a coterie; a set.

As his name gradually became known, the circle of his acquaintance widened.
Macaulay.

7. A circular group of persons; a ring.

8. A series ending where it begins, and repeating itself.

Thus in a circle runs the peasant's pain.
Dryden.

9. (Logic) A form of argument in which two or more unproved statements are used to prove each other; inconclusive reasoning.

That heavy bodies descend by gravity; and, again, that gravity is a quality whereby a heavy body descends, is an impertinent circle and teaches nothing.
Glanvill.

10. Indirect form of words; circumlocution. [ R.]

Has he given the lie,
In circle , or oblique, or semicircle.
J. Fletcher.

11. A territorial division or district.

» The Circles of the Holy Roman Empire , ten in number, were those principalities or provinces which had seats in the German Diet.

Azimuth circle . See under Azimuth . -- Circle of altitude (Astron.) , a circle parallel to the horizon, having its pole in the zenith; an almucantar. -- Circle of curvature . See Osculating circle of a curve (Below). -- Circle of declination . See under Declination . -- Circle of latitude . (a) (Astron.) A great circle perpendicular to the plane of the ecliptic, passing through its poles. (b) (Spherical Projection) A small circle of the sphere whose plane is perpendicular to the axis. -- Circles of longitude , lesser circles parallel to the ecliptic, diminishing as they recede from it. -- Circle of perpetual apparition , at any given place, the boundary of that space around the elevated pole, within which the stars never set. Its distance from the pole is equal to the latitude of the place. -- Circle of perpetual occultation , at any given place, the boundary of the space around the depressed pole, within which the stars never rise. -- Circle of the sphere , a circle upon the surface of the sphere, called a great circle when its plane passes through the center of the sphere; in all other cases, a small circle . -- Diurnal circle . See under Diurnal . -- Dress circle , a gallery in a theater, generally the one containing the prominent and more expensive seats. -- Druidical circles (Eng. Antiq.) , a popular name for certain ancient inclosures formed by rude stones circularly arranged, as at Stonehenge, near Salisbury. -- Family circle , a gallery in a theater, usually one containing inexpensive seats. -- Horary circles (Dialing) , the lines on dials which show the hours. -- Osculating circle of a curve (Geom.) , the circle which touches the curve at some point in the curve, and close to the point more nearly coincides with the curve than any other circle. This circle is used as a measure of the curvature of the curve at the point, and hence is called circle of curvature . -- Pitch circle . See under Pitch . -- Vertical circle , an azimuth circle. -- Voltaic circle or circuit . See under Circuit . -- To square the circle . See under Square .

Syn. -- Ring; circlet; compass; circuit; inclosure.

Circle transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Circled ; present participle & verbal noun Circling .] [ Middle English cerclen , French cercler , from Latin circulare to make round. See Circle , noun , and confer Circulate .]


1. To move around; to revolve around.

Other planets circle other suns.
Pope.

2. To encompass, as by a circle; to surround; to inclose; to encircle. Prior. Pope.

Their heads are circled with a short turban.
Dampier.

So he lies, circled with evil.
Coleridge.

To circle in , to confine; to hem in; to keep together; as, to circle bodies in . Sir K. Digby.

Circle intransitive verb To move circularly; to form a circle; to circulate.

Thy name shall circle round the gaping through.
Byron.

Circled adjective Having the form of a circle; round. "Monthly changes in her circled orb." Shak.

Circler noun A mean or inferior poet, perhaps from his habit of wandering around as a stroller; an itinerant poet. Also, a name given to the cyclic poets. See under Cyclic , adjective [ Obsolete] B. Jonson.

Circlet noun
1. A little circle; esp., an ornament for the person, having the form of a circle; that which encircles, as a ring, a bracelet, or a headband.

Her fair locks in circlet be enrolled.
Spenser.

2. A round body; an orb. Pope.

Fairest of stars . . . that crown'st the smiling morn
With thy bright circlet .
Milton.

3. A circular piece of wood put under a dish at table. [ Prov. Eng.] Halliwell.

Circocele noun See Cirsocele .

Circuit noun [ French circuit , from Latin circuitus , from circuire or circumire to go around; circum around + ire to go.]
1. The act of moving or revolving around, or as in a circle or orbit; a revolution; as, the periodical circuit of the earth round the sun. Watts.

2. The circumference of, or distance round, any space; the measure of a line round an area.

The circuit or compass of Ireland is 1,800 miles.
J. Stow.

3. That which encircles anything, as a ring or crown.

The golden circuit on my head.
Shak.

4. The space inclosed within a circle, or within limits.

A circuit wide inclosed with goodliest trees.
Milton.

5. A regular or appointed journeying from place to place in the exercise of one's calling, as of a judge, or a preacher.

6. (a) (Law) A certain division of a state or country, established by law for a judge or judges to visit, for the administration of justice. Bouvier . (b) (Methodist Church) A district in which an itinerant preacher labors.

7. Circumlocution. [ Obsolete] "Thou hast used no circuit of words." Huloet.

Circuit court (Law) , a court which sits successively in different places in its circuit (see Circuit , 6). In the United States, the federal circuit courts are commonly presided over by a judge of the supreme court, or a special circuit judge, together with the judge of the district court. They have jurisdiction within statutory limits, both in law and equity, in matters of federal cognizance. Some of the individual States also have circuit courts, which have general statutory jurisdiction of the same class, in matters of State cognizance. -- Circuit or Circuity of action (Law) , a longer course of proceedings than is necessary to attain the object in view. -- To make a circuit , to go around; to go a roundabout way. -- Voltaic or Galvanic circuit or circle , a continous electrical communication between the two poles of a battery; an arrangement of voltaic elements or couples with proper conductors, by which a continuous current of electricity is established.

Circuit intransitive verb To move in a circle; to go round; to circulate. [ Obsolete] J. Philips.

Circuit transitive verb To travel around. [ Obsolete] "Having circuited the air." T. Warton.

Circuiteer noun A circuiter. Pope.

Circuiter noun One who travels a circuit, as a circuit judge. [ R.] R. Whitlock.

Circuition noun [ Latin circuitio . See Circuit .] The act of going round; circumlocution. [ R.]

Circuitous adjective [ Late Latin circuitosus .] Going round in a circuit; roundabout; indirect; as, a circuitous road; a circuitous manner of accomplishing an end. -- Cir*cu"i*tous*ly , adverb -- Cir*cu"i*tous*ness , noun

Syn. -- Tortuous; winding; sinuous; serpentine.

Circuity noun A going round in a circle; a course not direct; a roundabout way of proceeding.

Circulable adjective That may be circulated.

Circular adjective [ Latin circularis , from circulus circle: confer French circulaire . See Circle .]


1. In the form of, or bounded by, a circle; round.

2. repeating itself; ending in itself; reverting to the point of beginning; hence, illogical; inconclusive; as, circular reasoning.

3. Adhering to a fixed circle of legends; cyclic; hence, mean; inferior. See Cyclic poets , under Cyclic .

Had Virgil been a circular poet, and closely adhered to history, how could the Romans have had Dido?
Dennis.

4. Addressed to a circle, or to a number of persons having a common interest; circulated, or intended for circulation; as, a circular letter.

A proclamation of Henry III., . . . doubtless circular throughout England.
Hallam.

5. Perfect; complete. [ Obsolete]

A man so absolute and circular
In all those wished-for rarities that may take
A virgin captive.
Massinger.

Circular are , any portion of the circumference of a circle. -- Circular cubics (Math.) , curves of the third order which are imagined to pass through the two circular points at infinity. -- Circular functions . (Math.) See under Function . -- Circular instruments , mathematical instruments employed for measuring angles, in which the graduation extends round the whole circumference of a circle, or 360°. -- Circular lines , straight lines pertaining to the circle, as sines, tangents, secants, etc. -- Circular note or letter . (a) (Com.) See under Credit . (b) (Diplomacy) A letter addressed in identical terms to a number of persons. -- Circular numbers (Arith.) , those whose powers terminate in the same digits as the roots themselves; as 5 and 6, whose squares are 25 and 36. Bailey. Barlow. -- Circular points at infinity (Geom.) , two imaginary points at infinite distance through which every circle in the plane is, in the theory of curves, imagined to pass. -- Circular polarization . (Min.) See under Polarization . -- Circular or Globular sailing (Nautical) , the method of sailing by the arc of a great circle. -- Circular saw . See under Saw .

Circular noun [ Confer (for sense 1) French circulaire , lettre circulaire . See Circular , adjective ]


1. A circular letter, or paper, usually printed, copies of which are addressed or given to various persons; as, a business circular .

2. A sleeveless cloak, cut in circular form.

circularise v.
1. to canvass by distributing letters.
Syn. -- circularize.
[ WordNet 1.5]

2. to distribute circulars to.
Syn. -- circularize.
[ WordNet 1.5]

3. to to pass around, as information.
Syn. -- circulate, circularize, distribute, disseminate, propagate, broadcast, spread, diffuse, disperse.
[ WordNet 1.5]

Circularity noun [ Late Latin circularitas .] The quality or state of being circular; a circular form.

Circularly adverb In a circular manner.

Circulary adjective Circular; illogical. [ Obsolete & .] "Cross and circulary speeches." Hooker.

Circulate intransitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Circulated ; present participle & verbal noun Circulating .] [ Latin circulatus , past participle of circulare , transitive verb , to surround, make round, circulari , intransitive verb , to gather into a circle. See Circle .]


1. To move in a circle or circuitously; to move round and return to the same point; as, the blood circulates in the body. Boyle.

2. To pass from place to place, from person to person, or from hand to hand; to be diffused; as, money circulates ; a story circulates.

Circulating decimal . See Decimal . -- Circulating library , a library whose books are loaned to the public, usually at certain fixed rates. -- Circulating medium . See Medium .

Circulate transitive verb To cause to pass from place to place, or from person to person; to spread; as, to circulate a report; to circulate bills of credit.

Circulating pump . See under Pump .

Syn. -- To spread; diffuse; propagate; disseminate.