Meaning of “circulation” in the English Dictionary

"circulation" in British English

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circulationnoun

uk /ˌsɜː.kjəˈleɪ.ʃən/ us /ˌsɝː.kjəˈleɪ.ʃən/

[ U ] the process in which something such as information, money, or goods passes from one person to another:

Police have warned that there are a lot of fake £50 notes in circulation.
Add her name to the circulation list for this report (= the people who will be given it to read).
figurative I hear she's out of circulation/back in circulation (= taking part/not taking part in social activities) after her accident.

C2 [ C usually singular ] the number of people that a newspaper or magazine is regularly sold to:

The paper has a circulation of 150,000.

C2 [ U ] the movement of blood around the body:

Exercise helps to improve circulation.

More examples

  • The newspaper's circulation has dropped dramatically.
  • I heard that there are several stolen paintings in circulation.
  • Police are aware of the circulation of forged bank notes.

(Definition of “circulation” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"circulation" in American English

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circulationnoun [ C/U ]

us /ˌsɜr·kjəˈlei·ʃən/

biology the movement of blood inside the body

Circulation is also the movement of air or water in a space or system:

[ U ] The fans in the air circulation system make a lot of noise.

A magazine or newspaper’s circulation is the number of people who read it:

[ C ] The Chronicle has a daily circulation of 505,000.

If something is in circulation, it is available:

[ U ] Are the new dollar coins in circulation yet?

If something is out of circulation, it is not available:

[ U ] The company takes its movies out of circulation, then shows them again.
[ U ] fig.infml She’s been out of circulation since her accident.

(Definition of “circulation” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"circulation" in Business English

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circulationnoun

uk /ˌsɜːkjəˈleɪʃən/ us

[ U ] ECONOMICS, MONEY the use of a particular type of money or payment system in the economy:

withdraw from/take out of circulation Many European currencies were withdrawn from circulation after the euro was adopted.
come into/go into/be put into circulation The new $100 bills will go into circulation early next year.
Within just five years, the number of credit cards in circulation had tripled.

[ usually singular ] COMMUNICATIONS the typical number of copies of a newspaper or magazine that are sold every day, week, or month:

a circulation of sth It has a daily circulation of 400,000, making it the second-largest newspaper in the country.

[ U ] the act of sending goods or information from one person to another or from one place to another:

the circulation of sth Despite the circulation of the memo, the company's stock price in recent days has been soaring.

(Definition of “circulation” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)