from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Encompassing on all sides; surrounding.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Surrounding; encompassing; inclosing or being on all sides: specifically applied, in entomology, to the pronotum when the anterior angles are elongated in curved processes which form a circle above the head, overlapping in front.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Surrounding; inclosing or being on all sides; encompassing.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Ascribing to all aspects of; encompassing.
  • adjective Surrounding.
  • adverb in a circumambient manner


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin circum ("around") + ambiō, from amb- ("both side") +  ("go"), literally "go on both sides of".


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  • The point to this dissertation -- if point be allowed by courtesy -- is directed, in a measure, at a clergyman in this city, who told gleefully of the break of a church officer in a prayer meeting, and yet the same preacher on the following Sunday night, used, in a brief petition, the words "circumambient," "iridescent" and "corollary."

    Idle Comments 1905

  • Philosophy, on the contrary, tends to think of the transfer from circumambient cultural context to cultural artifact as a big mystery.

    Crossroads of Philosophy and Cultural Studies: Body, Context, Performativity, Community 2008

  • Great Regulars: The poem's argument was as hard to remember as its language; it dissolved at once into the circumambient solemnity.

    Archive 2009-01-01 Rus Bowden 2009

  • We are now beginning to understand the consequences of this new circumambient digital “reality.”

    The Tyranny of E-mail John Freeman 2009

  • For the circumambient bodies being in perfect rest, are a wall of adamant, and in that state make it a perfect impossibility for any other body to get into that space.

    An Essay Concerning Human Understanding 2007

  • The personal element in the magnetic attraction exercised by this circumambient, unapproachable master of hers was so much stronger than the intellectual and abstract that she could not understand it.

    Wessex Tales 2006

  • The dome rose but a little way above the general contour of the city, into the still twilight, and sloped away, shining greasily under a few distant lights, into a circumambient ditch of darkness.

    When the Sleeper Wakes 2006

  • Religion will bind again these that were sometime frivolous, customary, enemies, skeptics, self-seekers, into a joyful reverence for the circumambient Whole, and that which was ecstasy shall become daily bread.

    Uncollected Prose 2006

  • Look, they rush together, and Master Wamba is waving an immense banner over them, and knocks down a circumambient

    Burlesques 2006

  • Anaxagoras, that the air endeavoring to make a passage out of the earth, meeting with a thick superficies, is not able to force its way, and so shakes the circumambient earth with a trembling.

    Essays and Miscellanies 2004


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  • "'...Not to mention the countless devices to measure the speed of the vessel through the water by means of rotating vanes or the pressure of the circumambient ocean...'"

    --Patrick O'Brian, The Ionian Mission, 76

    February 11, 2008

  • Beautiful word.

    February 11, 2008

  • It is. Makes you want to walk around it slowly to admire it from all angles. ;-)

    February 11, 2008

  • And fast the white rocks faded from his view,

    And soon were lost in circumambient foam;

    -- Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

    November 20, 2009