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circle

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noun [countable] circle pronunciation in British English /ˈsɜː(r)k(ə)l/ 
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singularcircle
pluralcircles
  1. 1
    a round shape consisting of a curved line that completely encloses a space and is the same distance from the centre at every point. Something in the shape of a circle is circular

    a mathematical calculation to find out the radius of a circle

    circle of:

    Cut out a circle of paper.

    1. a.
      a group of people or things arranged in a circle
      circle of:

      a circle of stones

      in a circle:

      The dancers were standing in a circle around the fire.

      form a circle:

      Now I'd like you to form a circle and hold hands.

  2. 2
    a group of people who know one another or are related to one another
    circle of:

    They have a large circle of friends and acquaintances.

    a social circle:

    I soon became a member of her social circle.

    family circle:

    He now felt he was a member of the family circle.

    1. a.
      [usually plural] a group of people who are interested in the same things or who have the same profession
      scientific/academic/literary circles:

      He began to move in the scientific circles centred round Sir Charles Cavendish.

      political/financial/business circles:

      The bank's failure sent shock waves through international financial circles.

phrases

creep

used with other nouns to describe the unexpected and often unwanted effects of a particular situation or trend

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sandwich woman

a woman in middle age who has to juggle caring for teenage children and ageing parents with a career

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