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Definition to restrict something within set limits; or draw a circle around or surround
  • I will not let their expectations circumscribe how I live my life.
circumscribe = restrict  the boundaries of
  • We crawled into the bed, my freedom circumscribed some by the oxygen, but even so I could get on top of him and...
    John Green  --  The Fault in Our Stars
  • circumscribed = restricted within set limits
  • Hemmed in, limited, circumscribed, he sees and feels no way of acting except to hate and kill that which he thinks is crushing him.
    Richard Wright  --  Native Son
  • circumscribed = restricted within set limits
  • ...makes the Messiah take a great pair of compasses from the armoury of heaven to circumscribe His work?
    Voltaire  --  Candide
  • circumscribe = draw a circle around or surround
  • Circumscribed as my life was in so many ways, I had to look between the covers of books for news of the world that lay outside my own.
    Helen Keller  --  Story of My Life
  • circumscribed = restricted
  • The woman laughs as she says, "Tell me all of it."
    Dede looks at her watch as a polite reminder to the woman that the visit is circumscribed.
    Julia Alvarez  --  In the Time of the Butterflies
  • circumscribed = has restrictions or limits
  • Above the ceaseless surface they stand—trees, cane, vines—rootless, severed from the earth, spectral above a scene of immense yet circumscribed desolation...
    William Faulkner  --  As I Lay Dying
  • circumscribed = to restrict something within set limits
  • It seemed to have been constructed for no especial use in itself, but formed merely the interval between two of the colossal supports of the roof of the catacombs, and was backed by one of their circumscribing walls of solid granite.
    Edgar Allan Poe  --  The Cask of Amontillado
  • circumscribing = encircling or surrounding
  • Dr. Flint left him no property, and his own means had become circumscribed, while a wife and children depended upon him for support.
    Harriet Jacobs  --  Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
  • Here, with you, everything is circumscribed, here all is formulated and geometrical, while we have nothing but indeterminate equations!
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky  --  The Brothers Karamazov
  • He can't afford to anger them unnecessarily or he'll lose the support of his people, so his actions on our behalf have been severely circumscribed.
    Christopher Paolini  --  Eragon
  • The time she'd had alone had been gravitationally circumscribed by when her attachments would pull her back.
    Alice Sebold  --  The Lovely Bones
  • Who could imagine a life so circumscribed that it excluded honey?
    Susanna Kaysen  --  Girl Interrupted
  • It was strange because it was circumscribed, because it was concentrated on a single intention.
    T. H. White  --  The Once and Future King
  • It is, rather, a blessedly circumscribed imagination and an intuitive feeling that Life is Now.
    Richard Adams  --  Watership Down
  • If the laws had made it as feeble and as circumscribed as it is in the Union, its influence would very soon become still more preponderant.
    Alexis de Toqueville  --  Democracy In America, Volume 1
  • Their effects, thus circumscribed, are still exceedingly great; and I trust I may be pardoned if I pause for a moment to survey them.
    Alexis de Toqueville  --  Democracy In America, Volume 2
  • There are others which have a more circumscribed though an equally operative influence within their spheres.
    Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, & John Jay  --  The Federalist Papers
  • To circumscribe contact.
    Dave Eggers  --  A Hologram for the King
  • She knew that they were waiting like wolves just outside the circumscribing light, but she had long spells of power to keep them in hungry subjection there.
    Thomas Hardy  --  Tess of the d'Urbervilles

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