- 54.160.19.155

Cir·cle n.

1. A plane figure, bounded by a single curve line called its *circumference*, every part of which is equally distant from a point within it, called the *center*.

2. The line that bounds such a figure; a circumference; a ring.

3. Astron. An instrument of observation, the graduated limb of which consists of an entire circle.

Note: ☞ When it is fixed to a wall in an observatory, it is called a mural circle; when mounted with a telescope on an axis and in Y's, in the plane of the meridian, a meridian circle or transit circle; when involving the principle of reflection, like the sextant, a reflecting circle; and when that of repeating an angle several times continuously along the graduated limb, a repeating circle.

4. A round body; a sphere; an orb.

*It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth.* --*Is. xi. 22.*

5. Compass; circuit; inclosure.

*In the circle of this forest.* --*Shak.*

6. A company assembled, or conceived to assemble, about a central point of interest, or bound by a common tie; a class or division of society; a coterie; a set.

*As his name gradually became known, the circle of his acquaintance widened.* --*Macaulay.*

7. A circular group of persons; a ring.

8. A series ending where it begins, and repeating itself.

*Thus in a circle runs the peasant's pain.* --*Dryden.*

9. Logic A form of argument in which two or more unproved statements are used to prove each other; inconclusive reasoning.

*That heavy bodies descend by gravity; and, again, that gravity is a quality whereby a heavy body descends, is an impertinent circle and teaches nothing.* --*Glanvill.*

10. Indirect form of words; circumlocution. [R.]

Has he given the lie,

In circle, or oblique, or semicircle. --*J. Fletcher.*

11. A territorial division or district.

Note: ☞ **The Circles of the Holy Roman Empire**, ten in number, were those principalities or provinces which had seats in the German Diet.

**Azimuth circle**. See under Azimuth.

**Circle of altitude** Astron., a circle parallel to the horizon, having its pole in the zenith; an almucantar.

**Circle of curvature**. See Osculating circle of a curve (Below).

**Circle of declination**. See under Declination.

**Circle of latitude**. (a) Astron. A great circle perpendicular to the plane of the ecliptic, passing through its poles. (b) Spherical Projection A small circle of the sphere whose plane is perpendicular to the axis.

**Circles of longitude**, lesser circles parallel to the ecliptic, diminishing as they recede from it.

**Circle of perpetual apparition**, at any given place, the boundary of that space around the elevated pole, within which the stars never set. Its distance from the pole is equal to the latitude of the place.

**Circle of perpetual occultation**, at any given place, the boundary of the space around the depressed pole, within which the stars never rise.

**Circle of the sphere**, a circle upon the surface of the sphere, called a __great circle__ when its plane passes through the center of the sphere; in all other cases, a __small circle__.

**Diurnal circle**. See under Diurnal.

**Dress circle**, a gallery in a theater, generally the one containing the prominent and more expensive seats.

**Druidical circles** Eng. Antiq., a popular name for certain ancient inclosures formed by rude stones circularly arranged, as at Stonehenge, near Salisbury.

**Family circle**, a gallery in a theater, usually one containing inexpensive seats.

**Horary circles** Dialing, the lines on dials which show the hours.

**Osculating circle of a curve** Geom., the circle which touches the curve at some point in the curve, and close to the point more nearly coincides with the curve than any other circle. This circle is used as a measure of the curvature of the curve at the point, and hence is called __circle of curvature__.

**Pitch circle**. See under Pitch.

**Vertical circle**, an azimuth circle.

**Voltaic circuit** *or* **Voltaic circle**. See under Circuit.

**To square the circle**. See under Square.

Syn: -- Ring; circlet; compass; circuit; inclosure.

Cur·va·ture n.

1. The act of curving, or the state of being bent or curved; a curving or bending, normal or abnormal, as of a line or surface from a rectilinear direction; a bend; a curve.

*The elegant curvature of their fronds.* --*Darwin.*

2. Math. The amount of degree of bending of a mathematical curve, or the tendency at any point to depart from a tangent drawn to the curve at that point.

**Aberrancy of curvature** Geom., the deviation of a curve from a circular form.

**Absolute curvature**. See under Absolute.

**Angle of curvature** Geom., one that expresses the amount of curvature of a curve.

**Chord of curvature**. See under Chord.

**Circle of curvature**. See Osculating circle of a curve, under Circle.

**Curvature of the spine** Med., an abnormal curving of the spine, especially in a lateral direction.

**Radius of curvature**, the radius of the circle of curvature, or osculatory circle, at any point of a curve.

◄ ►

From: WordNet (r) 2.0

circle of curvature

n : the circle that touches a curve (on the concave side) and

whose radius is the radius of curvature [syn: osculating

circle]