Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: LEISURE

Date: 1300-1400
Language: Latin
Origin: 'circle, circus', perhaps from Greek kirkos 'ring'

circus

noun
     
cir‧cus
1 [countable] a group of people and animals who travel to different places performing skilful tricks as entertainment
circus act (=a trick performed in a circus)
circus ring (=a large circular area where tricks are performed)
2 [singular] informal a situation in which there is too much excitement or noise:
The first day of school is always such a circus.
The trial has turned into a media circus.
3 [countable usually singular] British EnglishTTR a round open area where several streets join together, often used in place names:
Piccadilly Circus
4 [countable]SHDL a place in ancient Rome where fights, races etc took place, with seats built in a circle
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