Lexicon: cimitar – circumference

a | b | c | d | e | f | g | h | i | j | k | l | m | n | o | p | q | r | s | t | u | v | w | x | y | z |


cimitar, n. [Fr.; cf. Gk. sampsera, a barbarian sword; ED's variant spelling of “cimiter” or “scimitar”.]

Short curved sword; sharp weapon used especially in Oriental countries.

cinder, n. [OE sinder, scoria, slag of metal.] (webplay: fire, small).

Ember; clinker; flying spark; piece of glowing coal that has ceased to flame.

Cinderella (-'s), proper n. [Fr. Cendrillon < cendres, ashes; see cinder.]

Fairy tale princess; heroine of a story in “Mother Goose Tales” (1697) by French writer Perrault; children's book character who sat near the fire in the ashes when her work was done; maiden whose fairy godmother changed a pumpkin into a coach and mice into horses; [phrase “Cinderella's Bays”] a magic trick; a fairy tale.

cinnamon, n. [Fr. < Heb. qinnamon, cinnamon.] (webplay: spices, stone).

Fragrant spice; exotic substance from the bark of the Laurus Cinnamomum tree.

cipher (-s, cypher), n. [OFr < Ar. çifr, arithmetical symbol 'zero' or 'nought' < Sanscrit śūnya, empty.]

  1. Zero; nonentity; arithmetical symbol (0); numeral which has no value by itself, but which increases or decreases the value of other figures according to its position; [fig.] sum; number; figuring; calculation; accounting; record; [fig.] writing; scribbling; line of poetry; word jotted down.
  2. Sign; figure; letter; name; single character; [fig.] nonentity; nobody; noone; place-holder with no inherent value.

cipher, v. [see cipher, n.] (webplay: hand, ten, value).

Calculate; decode; solve; think out.

Circassian, proper adj. [L. < Russ. cherkes < Ossetian charkas, eagle.]

  1. Central Asian land; place where tulips originated; location in the northern Caucasus Mountains; [fig.] exotic; far-away; remote.
  2. Native to Circassia; inhabiting a region in the northern Caucasus Mountains; [fig.] rare; special; striking; unique; exceptional; outstanding; eye-catching.

circle, n. [OE < L. circ-us, a round, a ring; see circuit and circumference.] (webplay: circumference).

Compass; circuit; orbit; geometric figure comprehended by a single curved line of circumference; plane in which every exterior point is equally distant from its center point; [metaphor] cycle of time; path of a planet or heavenly body; perpetual journey which ends where it begins; [rhetoric] circumlocution; inconclusive argument; indirect form of words; [fig.] cyclic poet; strolling minstrel; poet who goes around from place to place.

circuit, n. [Fr. < L. circuitus, going around; see circle and circumference.] (webplay: course, earth, round, traveling).

  1. Habitual rounds; path of duty; systematic course of responsibilities.
  2. Lifetime; time on earth; circle of influence; round of experiences; limited sphere of action; journey from life to death.
  3. Zone; area; confinement; restriction; geometric limit; earthly boundary; [fig.] strict measure; difficult circumstance; round of rigorous experiences that one usually might wish to avoid.
  4. Cycle of nature; [fig.] garden; paradise; Eden.
  5. Circumlocution; paraphrase; a compass of words; the rhetorical figure of periphrasis; a gradual line-upon-line explanation; softening the force of a direct expression; a longer course of proceedings than usual; a roundabout mode of speech, expression, or reason; avoiding the use of a single term out of delicacy or respect; the use of a number of words to express an idea when a suitable term is not at hand; [fig.] a succession of verses; a cycle of poems; an indirect style of expression in poetry.
  6. Journey; path; route; course; traveling around; [note] ED wrote P 1448/1523 on the back of a circular, e.g. a bill or advertising flier.
  7. Heaven; quest for paradise; divine sphere of action; spiritual journey on earth among the stars, suns, and planets of the universe.
  8. Perimeter; periphery; border; boundary; margin; circular enclosure; curved space as opposed to straight, direct, square, or linear space.

circumference, n. [Fr. < L. circum, round, about + fer-re, to bear; loan translation of Gk. perifereia, rotundity, outer surface, periphery; see circle and circuit.] (webplay: carry, circle, round).

  1. Perspective; view; vista; ability to protract an infinite number of concentric circles from one specific point; [fig.] greater understanding; elevated awareness; broader view; expanded perception of life.
  2. Navigation; circuit; circular motion; journey in a circular pattern; going around in circles; [fig.] wandering; migration; flight of departure and returning.
  3. Horizon; periphery; the girth of the world; the circle of the earth's globe; the whole circular surface of the earth including the sea and the land.
  4. Zone; area; boundary; restriction; constraint; restraint; demarcation; delimitation; outer limit; the space included within a circle; [fig.] mortality; a lifetime; a succession of events; cycles of nature, mortality, and earth life.
  5. Eternity; the ultimate reality; the life beyond; the all-encompassing circle of existence.
  6. Edge of the sky; atmosphere which surrounds the earth; the sky as it encircles the globe; the cycles of air, wind, and clouds; the air currents which carry creatures in flight; the relationship of the earth to the sun.
  7. Influence; sphere of action; [fig.] periphrasis; circumlocution; metaphorical extensions; lines of poetry; text in relation to context; connections that go beyond words; words as symbols for aspects of existence; meanings that lie within the limits of words; [fig.] polysemy; semantic connotations that go beyond the core meaning of a word (OED founder Richard Trench explains that synonyms are circles “with the same centre and the same circumference”); [metaphor] experience; reality; enlightenment; intelligence; revelation; inspiration; wisdom.
  8. Perimeter; geometric line that bounds a circle; a single curved line that forms an encompassing boundary; the finite line that goes around in 360 degrees; the whole area enclosed by a circular line or spherical limit; the whole exterior surface of a round body; [fig.] experience; frontier; outlook.
  9. Finitude; reality; exact dimensions of life; irrefutable aspects of reality; indisputable facts of existence; [paradox] infinitude; countless lines, planes, degrees, arcs, angles, diameters, projections, intersections, and repetitions of circles from a finite point.
  10. Skull; round body; globe; spherical container.
  11. Border; margin; diameter; [fig.] arc of space; projection linking separate entities; line connecting a single being to an experience in a certain place; [metaphor] memory; music beyond words; communication beyond eloquence.
  12. Comprehension; understanding; [personification] wonderful companion; cause of respect, admiration, and amazement.
  13. Circumspection; discretion; cautiousness; secret realm; hidden core; inner vision; center of being; different way of perceiving.