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Definition of "circumscribe" [cir•cum•scribe]

  • To draw a line around; encircle. (verb-transitive)
  • To limit narrowly; restrict. (verb-transitive)
  • To determine the limits of; define. See Synonyms at limit. (verb-transitive)
  • To enclose (a polygon or polyhedron) within a configuration of lines, curves, or surfaces so that every vertex of the enclosed object is incident on the enclosing configuration. (verb-transitive)
  • To erect (such a configuration) around a polygon or polyhedron: circumscribe a circle around a square. (verb-transitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "circumscribe" in a sentence
  • "Reveals that the CIA sought to "circumscribe" a policy of humane detainee treatment "so as to limit its application to the CIA.""
  • "One, they should circumscribe the role of the ombudsman, preferably to higher levels of government, and focus on increasing transparency."
  • "Climate control is seamlessly integrated and hardly noticeable as air diffusers circumscribe the house with fully integrated track lighting, eliminating unsightly air vents and making credible use of space."