transitive verb Etymology: Middle English circumscriven, from Latin circumscribere, from circum- + scribere to write, draw — more at scribe Date: 14th century 1. a. to constrict the range or activity of definitely and clearly <
his role was carefully circumscribed
b. to define or mark off carefully <
a study of plant species in a circumscribed area
2. a. to draw a line around b. to surround by or as if by a boundary <
fields circumscribed by tall trees
3. to construct or be constructed around (a geometrical figure) so as to touch as many points as possible Synonyms: see limit

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Circumscribe — Cir cum*scribe , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Circumscribed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Circumscribing}.] [L. circumscribere, scriptum; circum + scribere to write, draw. See {Soribe}.] [1913 Webster] 1. to write or engrave around. [R.] [1913 Webster] Thereon is… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • circumscribe — I (define) verb border, circumscribere, definire, delimit, delineate, demarcate, demark, determine, distinguish, establish, outline II (surround by boundary) verb begird, belt, border, bound, circuit, circumvallate, cloister, close around, close… …   Law dictionary

  • circumscribe — (v.) late 14c., from L. circumscribere to make a circle, to draw a line around, limit, confine, set the boundaries of, from circum around (see CIRCUM (Cf. circum )) + scribere write (see SCRIPT (Cf. script)). Related: Circumscribed;… …   Etymology dictionary

  • circumscribe — confine, *limit, restrict Analogous words: *restrain, inhibit, curb, check: *hamper, trammel, fetter Antonyms: expand, dilate Contrasted words: distend, amplify, inflate, swell (see EXPAND): enlarge (see INCREASE vb) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • circumscribe — [v] mark off, delimit bar, bound, confine, define, delineate, demarcate, encircle, enclose, encompass, environ, girdle, hamper, hem in*, limit, nail down*, outline, prelimit, restrain, restrict, surround, trammel; concepts 18,130 Ant. free, loose …   New thesaurus

  • circumscribe — ► VERB 1) restrict; limit. 2) Geometry draw (a figure) round another, touching it at points but not cutting it. DERIVATIVES circumscription noun. ORIGIN Latin circumscribere, from circum around + scribere write …   English terms dictionary

  • circumscribe — [sʉr′kəm skrīb΄, sʉr΄kəm skrīb′] vt. circumscribed, circumscribing [ME circumscriben < L circumscribere: see CIRCUM & SCRIBE] 1. to trace a line around; encircle; encompass 2. a) to set or mark off the limits of; limit; confine …   English World dictionary

  • circumscribe — verb the power of the local agency has been circumscribed by the national organization Syn: restrict, limit, keep within bounds, curb, confine, restrain; regulate, control •• circumscribe, encircle, enclose, encompass, envelop, surround Strictly… …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • circumscribe — circumscribable, adj. circumscriber, n. /serr keuhm skruyb , serr keuhm skruyb /, v.t., circumscribed, circumscribing. 1. to draw a line around; encircle: to circumscribe a city on a map. 2. to enclose within bounds; limit or confine, esp.… …   Universalium

  • circumscribe — UK [ˈsɜː(r)kəmˌskraɪb] / US [ˈsɜrkəmˌskraɪb] verb [transitive] Word forms circumscribe : present tense I/you/we/they circumscribe he/she/it circumscribes present participle circumscribing past tense circumscribed past participle circumscribed 1)… …   English dictionary

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