The Abbreviation for Circle: What Is It and How Is It Used?

Are you looking for ways to abbreviate the word circle? We’re here to help. We’ll define circle. We’ll explain when it should be used as an abbreviation and when it should be included in its entirety. Finally, we’ll provide synonyms and examples of the word in context.

Let’s get started. 

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How Do You Abbreviate the Word Circle?

There is one way to abbreviate the word circle:


These three letters can also be written:


In academic writing, the abbreviation is not used.

The abbreviation is typically employed in short communications such as notes, inter-office memos, or as a postal code. It’s not very commonly used in long-form writing, outside of technical environments, where circle is a very common descriptive phrase.

For example:
Bisect the CIR, then use the diameter to estimate the circumference. 

For the sake of clarity, the abbreviation for circle should be used sparingly. Before using the abbreviation, be certain that it will be familiar to the reader. When in doubt, be sure to define an abbreviation the first time you use it.

The Definition of the Word

According to Wikipedia, there are several definitions of the word circle.

In mathematics, a circle is a closed shape with equal distances from its center to every corner. This distance is known as a radius. A circle can also be described as a closed curve, which divides a plane into two sections, interior and exterior. In other words, it’s a two-dimensional shape, which is round. Also, a circle can be defined by its circumference, which is the line that goes around its center. In technical terms, it’s the boundary of a figure known as a disc.  

Another definition, according to Lumen Learning, describes a circle as a type of eclipse, where the radius is the same for all points. A circle is also defined as a plane figure, bound by one line, such that all the right lines drawn from the circumference to the center are equal.

The other meaning of a circle is a group of people with a shared profession, or shared interests, activities, or acquaintances.  

For example:
The knitting circle meets every second Friday of the month.
Trust holds our circle of friends together. 

As a verb, circle means revolving or drawing a circle around.

For example:
The airplane circled the airport. 

History of the Word

The word circle is derived from the Greek word kirkos/kuklos, which means a hoop or a ring. 

The concept of a circle dates back before the first usage of the word in 1700 B.C. According to the Greeks, the Egyptians were the inventors of geometry. Ahmes, the author of the Rhind Papyrus, defined a rule to determine the area of a circle. Around 650 B.C., Thales wrote the first theorems concerning circles. In Plato’s Seventh Letter, the concept of a circle is explained in detail. 

According to the Oxford Collocations Dictionary, the term circle originates from the Latin word circulus, “small ring,” or circus, “ring.” 

In the United States, the abbreviation for circle is mostly used in postal addresses. It’s defined by the USPS, as follows:

Street Suffix
Used Street
Suffix or
Postal Service

Synonyms for Circle

  • Ring
  • Loop
  • Wheel
  • Sphere
  • Globe  
  • Disk
  • Hoop
  • Orb
  • Orbit
  • Round
  • Annulus
  • Circlet
  • Crown
  • Corona
  • Circus
  • Circumference
  • Periphery  
  • Circuit  
  • Ecliptic
  • Round  
  • Epicycle  
  • Embrace  
  • Coil  
  • Skirt  
  • Surround  

Examples of the Word in Context

“Buildings of public importance were also constructed in this area, in the result of which [sic] the so-called Boulevard Circle was created, which at present has become a real oasis in the 21st-century metropolis.”
—Municipal Portal of Riga

“Some games are circled on the schedule.” 
—The Hartford Courant

“My young friend spoke especially of how one woman mentor in her inner circle encouraged her to join her current organization, included her in the organization’s women’s network, and helped to build the connections she needed to sustain her career.”

“The ‘Circle of Friends’ intervention is aimed primarily at improving the inclusion of children with challenging behaviour, disability or personal concerns within mainstream schools. It works by gathering the student’s peers in a circle of friendly support to help the young person with their problem solving.”

Receiving reports of the activities of the Order of American Knights (a new name for the alleged order) in Missouri and Illinois, U.S. Pres. Abraham Lincoln sent his secretary, John Hay, to investigate. The new charges, said Lincoln on receiving Hay’s report, were ‘as puerile as the Knights of the Golden Circle.”
—Encyclopedia Britannica

Additional USPS and Street Name Abbreviations

ALY Alley

ANX Annex

BCH Beach

BND Bend

BRG Burg

BRK Brook

BYP Bypass

BLF Bluff

BTM Bottom

CLB Club

CMN Common

CRES Crescent

CRK Creek

CRSE Course

CRST Crest

CSWY Causeway

CTR Center

EXPY Expressway

FLD Field

FLT Flat

FRD Ford

FRG Forge

FRK Fork

FWY Freeway

GDN Garden

GLN Glen

GRN Green

GRV Grove

GTWY Gateway

HBR Harbor

HOLW Hollow

HVN Haven

HWY Highway

INLT Inlet

JCT Junction

KNL Knoll

LCK Lock

LDG Lodge

LGT Light

LNDG Landing

MDW Meadow

MNR Manor

MSN Mission

MTN Mountain

NCK Neck

ORCH Orchard

PLN Plain

PLZ Plaza

PKWY Parkway

PRT Port

RADL Radial

RDG Ridge

RIV River

RNCH Ranch

RPD Rapid

RTE Route

SHLS Shoals

SHR Shore

SMT Summit

SPG Spring

STRM Stream

SQ Square

TRCE Trace

TRL Trail

TPKE Turnpike

TUNL Tunnel

VLG Village

VLY Valley

VW View

WLS Wells

XING Crossing