Definition of "circus" []

  • A public entertainment consisting typically of a variety of performances by acrobats, clowns, and trained animals. (noun)
  • A traveling company that performs such entertainments. (noun)
  • A circular arena, surrounded by tiers of seats and often covered by a tent, in which such shows are performed. (noun)
  • A roofless oval enclosure surrounded by tiers of seats that was used in antiquity for public spectacles. (noun)
  • Chiefly British An open circular place where several streets intersect. (noun)
  • A travelling company of entertainers such as acrobats, clowns, trapeze artistes, and trained animals (noun)

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.

  • A public performance given by such a company (noun)
  • An oval or circular arena, usually tented and surrounded by tiers of seats, in which such a performance is held (noun)
  • A travelling group of professional sportsmen (noun)
  • An open-air stadium, usually oval or oblong, for chariot races or public games (noun)
  • The games themselves (noun)
  • An open place, usually circular, in a town, where several streets converge (noun)
  • (capital when part of a name) (noun)
  • Noisy or rowdy behaviour (noun)
  • A person or group of people whose behaviour is wild, disorganized, or (esp unintentionally) comic (noun) (c) HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 2016

Use "circus" in a sentence
  • "Easily lost in this circus is the careful work that members of Congress do in holding hearings, passing legislation, and taking care of problems brought to their attention by constituents and the press."
  • "A surefire sign that the circus is almost over: they send in the clowns, and McConnell is a clown extraordinaire."
  • "Then that blends with what I call circus, which a modern critic would call an amusement-park ride, which is, you know, the gladiators, or horse races, or football teams, or things like that, which are exciting and are emotional."