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Circumscribe   Listen
Circumscribe  v. t.  (past & past part. circumscribed; pres. part. circumscribing)  
To write or engrave around. (R.) "Thereon is circumscribed this epitaph."
To inclose within a certain limit; to hem in; to surround; to bound; to confine; to restrain. "To circumscribe royal power."
(Geom.) To draw a line around so as to touch at certain points without cutting. See Inscribe, 5.
Synonyms: To bound; limit; restrict; confine; abridge; restrain; environ; encircle; inclose; encompass.

Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48

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"Circumscribe" Quotes from Famous Books

... nature whereof we speak is made known by its independency of those limitations which circumscribe us on every hand. The soul circumscribes all things. As I have said, it contradicts all experience. In like manner it abolishes time and space. The influence of the senses has in most men overpowered the mind to that degree that the walls of time and space have come to look real ...
— Essays, First Series • Ralph Waldo Emerson

... of Independence and take courage to renew the battle which their fathers began, so that truth and justice and mercy and all the humane and Christian virtues might not be extinguished from the land; so that no man would hereafter dare to limit and circumscribe the great principles on which the temple ...
— Abraham Lincoln, A History, Volume 2 • John George Nicolay and John Hay

... poet of the first order is plain, if for no other reason than that he never produced a work in any of the greatest forms of poetry. The drama, the epic, the lyric, were all outside his range. On the other hand, unless a definition of poetry be framed—and Dr. Johnson has well remarked that "to circumscribe poetry by a definition will only show the narrowness of the definer"—which shall exclude all gnomic and satiric verse, and so debar the claims of Hesiod, Juvenal, and Boileau, it is impossible to deny that Pope is a true poet. Certain qualities of the highest poet Pope no doubt lacked, lofty imagination, ...
— The Rape of the Lock and Other Poems • Alexander Pope

... what shall it say but this? 'Here is the change beginning, here the lines Circumscribe beauty, set to bliss The limit time assigns.'" . ...
— Browning's Heroines • Ethel Colburn Mayne

... lay down on the theological chart the road-place to which my bark has drifted, and to mark the spot and circumscribe the space within which I swing at anchor, let me first thank you for, and then attempt to answer, the objections—or at least the questions—which ...
— Confessions of an Inquiring Spirit etc. • by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... familiar with the imperative laws and lines which circumscribe the fashionable world will realize just how marked a departure it was. It was a remarkable party. The very highest and most sought after of the fashionable world were there, a few of them, and John Warden was there in his new business suit of grey, ...
— The Chautauqua Girls At Home • Pansy, AKA Isabella M. Alden

... Sparzanium." From specimens subsequently found by Dr. Fleming, and on which he has erected his species Parka decipiens, it seems evident that the nearly circular bodies (which in all the better preserved instances circumscribe the small polygonal ones) were set in receptacles somewhat resembling the receptacle or calyx of the strawberry or rasp. Judging from one of the specimens, this calyx appears to have consisted of five pieces, which united in a central stem, and ...
— The Testimony of the Rocks - or, Geology in Its Bearings on the Two Theologies, Natural and Revealed • Hugh Miller

... feel that they are upon their honour with the customers, as to the minutest points of administration. But, although the American stoves cannot roast, they can surely boil one kind of meat as well as another, and need not always circumscribe their boiling talents within the limits of ham and beef. The most enthusiastic admirer of those substantials, would probably not object to occasional inconstancy in respect of pork and mutton: or, especially in cold weather, to a little innocent trifling ...
— The Uncommercial Traveller • Charles Dickens

... insufficient to guard so extensive a line, and that it would be hopeless to endeavour to starve out men who could at all times make raids over the country around them. The first step to be taken must be to endeavour to circumscribe their limits. Orders were at once sent to the British tribes in south and midlands to send all their available men, and as these arrived they were set to work to clear away by axe and fire the trees and bush on the eastern side of the ...
— Beric the Briton - A Story of the Roman Invasion • G. A. Henty

... deputies in Carolina. They not only tyrannized over the poor colony, but also employed and protected officers ten times more tyrannical than themselves. When the whole legislature complained of Chief Justice Trott, they paid no regard to their complaints, and absolutely refused to circumscribe his jurisdiction, or remove him from the bench. In times of imminent danger, when the colony applied to them for assistance, they were either unable or unwilling to bear the expence of its protection. When ...
— An Historical Account Of The Rise And Progress Of The Colonies Of South Carolina And Georgia, Volume 1 • Alexander Hewatt

... together and perceives their relative worth; which is as much as to say that it expresses a new attitude of will in the presence of a world better understood and turned to some purpose. The limits of reflection mark those of concerted and rational action; they circumscribe the field of cumulative experience, or, what is the same thing, of ...
— The Life of Reason • George Santayana

... islands desert which are near to the coast of Cumana, Barcelona and Caracas. They would long have ceased to be so had they been under the dominion of any other government than that to which they belong. Nothing can engage men to circumscribe their industry within the narrow limits of a small island when a neighbouring continent offers them ...
— Equinoctial Regions of America V3 • Alexander von Humboldt

... the ethical fulness and symmetry of character, which all should seek; and when science shall be advanced far beyond the barriers that circumscribe it at present, men and women will seek the profound and intuitive anthropologist for consultation, as they now seek the physician for the ...
— Buchanan's Journal of Man, August 1887 - Volume 1, Number 7 • Various

... to use Mr. Herbert Spencer's phraseology, he has much less difficulty with the "internal relation." The ill-tempered person, on the other hand, can make very little of his environment. However he may attempt to circumscribe it in certain directions, there will always remain a wide and ever-changing area to stimulate his irascibility. His environment, in short, is an inconstant quantity, and his most elaborate calculations and precautions must often and ...
— Natural Law in the Spiritual World • Henry Drummond

Words linked to "Circumscribe" :   hold down, delimit, decrease, geometry, describe, limit, content, line, delimitate, circumscription, draw, number, demarcate, minify, curtail, curb, ration, delineate

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