Meaning of “circus” in the English Dictionary

"circus" in British English

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uk /ˈsɜː.kəs/ us /ˈsɝː.kəs/

circus noun (ENTERTAINMENT)

B1 [ C or S ] a group of travelling performers including acrobats (= people skilled in difficult physical movements) or those who work with trained animals, or a performance by such people usually in a large tent:

She ran away to join the circus.
The horses trotted into the circus ring (= the large circle, with seats all around, in which a circus performs).
The children loved being taken to the circus.

More examples

  • Mummy and Daddy are taking me to the circus on Saturday.
  • We noticed a poster advertising a circus.
  • We managed to get ringside seats for the circus.
  • The children wanted to see the circus.
  • One of the acrobats who walked the tightrope at the circus did it blindfolded.

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

"circus" in American English

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circusnoun [ C ]

us /ˈsɜr·kəs/

a group of traveling entertainers including acrobats, clowns, and trained animals, or a performance by such a group, often in a tent:

He quit school in the eighth grade to join the circus.
We saw the circus set up in a tent in the middle of the city.

A circus is also something noisy and confused:

The media circus covering the trial took over the courthouse steps.

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