What does circulate mean?

Definitions for circulate
ˈsɜr kyəˌleɪtcir·cu·late

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word circulate.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. go around, spread, circulateverb

    become widely known and passed on

    "the rumor spread"; "the story went around in the office"

  2. circulate, circularize, circularise, distribute, disseminate, propagate, broadcast, spread, diffuse, disperse, pass aroundverb

    cause to become widely known

    "spread information"; "circulate a rumor"; "broadcast the news"

  3. circulate, pass around, pass on, distributeverb

    cause be distributed

    "This letter is being circulated among the faculty"

  4. circulateverb

    move through a space, circuit or system, returning to the starting point

    "Blood circulates in my veins"; "The air here does not circulate"

  5. circle, circulateverb

    move in circles

  6. circulateverb

    cause to move in a circuit or system

    "The fan circulates the air in the room"

  7. circulateverb

    move around freely

    "She circulates among royalty"

  8. mobilize, mobilise, circulateverb

    cause to move around

    "circulate a rumor"


  1. circulateverb

    to move in circles or through a circuit

  2. circulateverb

    to cause (a person or thing) to move in circles or through a circuit

  3. circulateverb

    to move from person to person, as at a party

  4. circulateverb

    to spread or disseminate

  5. circulateverb

    to become widely known

  6. Etymology: From circulatus, past participle of circulare, a later collateral form of circulari, from circulus

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To Circulateverb

    To put about.

  2. To Circulateverb

    To move in a circle; to run round; to return to the place whence it departed in a constant course.

    Etymology: from circulus.

    If our lives motions theirs must imitate,
    Our knowledge, like our blood, must circulate. John Denham.

    Nature is a perpetual motion; and the work of the universe circulates without any interval or repose. Roger L'Estrange.

    In the civil wars, the money spent on both sides was circulated at home; no publick debts contracted. Jonathan Swift.


  1. Circulate

    Circulate is the second solo album of Neil Sedaka after his 1959 debut solo album Rock with Sedaka. Circulate was released in 1961 by RCA Victor and was produced by Al Nevins and Don Kirshner. Except for the title song "Circulate" and "I Found My World In You", the whole album contains covers of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s songs as interpreted by Sedaka. Two of the songs were re-issued as B-sides of other hits: "I Found My World In You" was the B-side of "Sweet Little You" later in 1961, and "Circulate" was the B-side of "Alice In Wonderland" in 1963. Sedaka later recorded Italian-language versions of "Smile" (as "Sorridi") and "All the Way" (as "Si' Amore")

Webster Dictionary

  1. Circulateverb

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

  2. Circulateverb

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

  3. Circulateverb

    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

  4. Etymology: [L. circulatus, p. p. of circulare, v. t., to surround, make round, circulari, v. i., to gather into a circle. See Circle.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Circulate

    sėr′kū-lāt, v.t. to make to go round as in a circle: to spread: to repeat (of decimals).—v.i. to move round: to be spread about.—adj. Cir′culable, capable of being circulated.—ns. Cir′culant; Circulā′tion, the act of moving in a circle: the movement of the blood: the sale of a periodical: the publication of a report or of a book: the money in use at any time in a country.—adjs. Cir′culative, Cir′culatory, circulating.—n. Cir′culator.—Circulating library, one where books are circulated among subscribers. [L. circulāre, -ātum.]

Editors Contribution

  1. circulate

    To move through a space, structure or system.

    The air circulates through the house and the energy feels clean and fresh.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 4, 2020  

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'circulate' in Verbs Frequency: #892

How to pronounce circulate?

How to say circulate in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of circulate in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of circulate in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of circulate in a Sentence

  1. Angelino Alfano:

    We worked to save the right to circulate at Brenner, to clarify issues and avoid a crisis with Austria, there's no need for any kind of barrier at Brenner.

  2. Roberto Burioni:

    What we should achieve is widespread immunization, one possible scenario is that, if we are able to vaccinate a huge majority of people, this virus will circulate but will not do much damage.

  3. Gothom Arya:

    In a situation of economic difficulty they have to stimulate consumption and what they think is: give grassroots people money and it will circulate, though the junta's action is exactly the same as previous governments, they claim that this time money will not leak.

  4. Kecia Gaither:

    Even though you have the same number of red blood cells, there’s more volume for them to circulate around.

  5. William Schaffner:

    I promise you as the season goes on, there are other strains circulating or will circulate as we get in January and February, although the vaccine is not perfect, it is still pretty good.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for circulate

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"circulate." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 1 Jun 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/circulate>.

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    an impression that something might be the case
    • A. snap
    • B. hunch
    • C. hodgepodge
    • D. concoction

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