Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of circus
Meaning of circus by Wiktionary Dictionary



    From Latin circus ( “ring, circle” ), from Proto-Indo-European *sker, *ker ( “to turn, to bend” ) [1] [2] .


    • Rhymes: -ɜː( ɹ )kəs


    circus ( plural: circuses )

    1. A traveling company of performers that may include acrobats, clowns, trained animals, and other novelty acts, that gives shows usually in a circular tent .
      The circus will be in town next week .
    2. A round open space in a town or city where multiple streets meet .
      Oxford Circus in London is at the north end of Regent Street .
    3. ( historical ) In the ancient Roman Empire, a building for chariot racing .
    4. ( military, World War II ) A code name for bomber attacks with fighter escorts in the day time. The attacks were against short-range targets with the intention of occupying enemy fighters and keeping their fighter units in the area concerned.
    5. ( obsolete ) Circuit; space; enclosure .
      The narrow circus of my dungeon wall. — Byron .

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    See also

    1. ^ A grammar of modern Indo-European, p. 398, 3rd paragraph
    2. ^ The American heritage dictionary of Indo-European roots, p. 78, entry for "( s )ker-3

Explanation of circus by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. a performance given by a traveling company of acrobats, clowns, and trained animals

    2. the children always love to go to the circus
    3. a frenetic disorganized ( and often comic ) disturbance suggestive of a large public entertainment

    4. it was so funny it was a circus
    5. a genus of haws comprising the harriers

    6. an arena consisting of an oval or circular area enclosed by tiers of seats and usually covered by a tent

    7. they used the elephants to help put up the circus
    8. an open-air stadium for chariot races and gladiatorial games

    9. a travelling company of entertainers

    10. he ran away from home to join the circus

    Definition of circus by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Circus n.; pl. Circuses [L. circus circle, ring, circus ( in sense 1 ). See Circle, and cf. Cirque.]

      1. ( Roman Antiq. ) A level oblong space surrounded on three sides by seats of wood, earth, or stone, rising in tiers one above another, and divided lengthwise through the middle by a barrier around which the track or course was laid out. It was used for chariot races, games, and public shows.

      ☞ The Circus Maximus at Rome could contain more than 100,000 spectators. Harpers' Latin Dict.

      2. A circular inclosure for the exhibition of feats of horsemanship, acrobatic displays, etc. Also, the company of performers, with their equipage.

      3. Circuit; space; inclosure. [R.]

      The narrow circus of my dungeon wall. Byron.