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Definition & Meaning: Word Root Circum

The prefix ‘circum’ derives from the Latin word ‘circum,’ meaning ’round’ or ‘around,’ illustrating its fundamental role in words that express the notion of encircling or encompassing. A prime example is ‘circumscribe,’ which combines ‘circum’ (around) with ‘scribe’ (to write), conveying the act of enclosing within bounds or limiting.

Example sentence: The spaceship’s route was both circumterrestrial and circumlunar, illustrating its comprehensive journey around the Earth and the Moon.

Circum Root Word Tree Diagram: Circumference, Circumnavigate, Circumspect

Words Based on the Root Circum

Commonly Used Words based on the Word Root Circum

  • Circumference: The enclosing boundary of a curved geometric figure, especially a circle.
  • Circumnavigate: To travel completely around somewhere or something, especially by sea or in space.
  • Circumspect: Wary and unwilling to take risks; cautious in all actions and decisions.

Technical Words/Jargon based on the Word Root Circum

  • Circumplanetary: Relating to or existing around a planet.
  • Circumterrestrial: Pertaining to being around the Earth.
  • Circumlunar: Situated or revolving around the Moon.

Archaic Words based on the Word Root Circum

  • Circumjacent: Lying around; surrounding.
  • Circumfusion: The act of pouring around or surrounding with a liquid.
  • Circumgyration: The action of swirling or revolving around a central point.

Related Word Roots

  • Peri- (Greek): Meaning ‘around’ or ‘near’, this root appears in words like ‘perimeter’ (the boundary around an area), ‘periscope’ (a device for viewing objects above or around), and ‘peripheral’ (relating to the outer edge).
  • Ambi- (Latin): Denoting ‘both’ or ‘on both sides’, found in ‘ambiguous’ (having more than one possible meaning) and ‘ambidextrous’ (able to use both hands equally well).
  • En-/Em- (Greek): Implying ‘in’ or ‘within’, used in ‘encircle’ (to form a circle around) and ‘encompass’ (to include comprehensively).

Want to explore more Word Roots?

Explore Our Full Word Roots Section

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