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See also: Circus
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- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈsɜːkəs/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈsɝkəs/
- Rhymes: -ɜː(ɹ)kəs
- A traveling company of performers that may include acrobats, clowns, trained animals, and other novelty acts, that gives shows usually in a circular tent. [from late 18th c.]
- The circus will be in town next week.
- 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.
- (figurative) A spectacle; a noisy fuss; a chaotic and/or crowded place.
- 2009, Christine Brooks, A Quiet Village, page 81:
- The village would be turned into a circus over this. He groaned, it was just the sort of case the media had a field day over. He had to get the whole thing sorted fast before anyone got wind of it.
- (historical) In the ancient Roman Empire, a building for chariot racing.
- (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.
- (obsolete) Circuit; space; enclosure.
- 1817, Lord Byron, The Lament of Tasso:
- The narrow circus of my dungeon wall.
- (open space): concourse
company that travels
round open space
- circus (company of performers; place where this company performs)
- (Classical) IPA(key): /ˈkir.kus/, [ˈkɪrkʊs̠]
- (modern Italianate Ecclesiastical) IPA(key): /ˈt͡ʃir.kus/, [ˈt͡ʃirkus]
- a circular line or orbit; circle, ring
- a racecourse or space where games are held, especially one that is round
- the spectators in a circus; a circus
- Balkan Romance:
- Piedmontese: cerc
- Insular Romance:
- Ancient borrowings:
- → Albanian: qark
- Asturian: circu
- Catalan: circ
- Dutch: circus (see there for further descendants)
- English: circus
- French: cirque (see there for further descendants)
- Friulian: circ
- Galician: circo
- German: Circus, Zirkus (see there for further descendants)
- Italian: circo
- Occitan: circ
- Polish: cyrk
- Portuguese: circo
- Romanian: circ
- Spanish: circo
- Walther von Wartburg (1928–2002), “cĭrcus”, in Französisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch (in German), volume 2: C Q K, page 708
- “circus”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
- “circus”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
- circus in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition with additions by D. P. Carpenterius, Adelungius and others, edited by Léopold Favre, 1883–1887)
- “circus”, in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
- “circus”, in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin