First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010
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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Circus mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Circus

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Cir"cus
  1. [Roman Antiq] A level oblong space surrounded on three sides by seats of wood, earth, or stone, rising in tiers one above another, and divided lengthwise through the middle by a barrier around which the track or course was laid out. It was used for chariot races, games, and public shows.
  2. A circular inclosure for the exhibition of feats of horsemanship, acrobatic displays, etc. Also, the company of performers, with their equipage.
  3. Circuit; space; inclosure.(R)"The narrow circus of my dungeon wall." [Byron.]

Note: ☞ The Circus Maximus at Rome could contain more than 100,000 spectators.

Etymology: L. circus circle, ring, circus (in sense 1). See Circle, and cf. Cirque

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. A performance given by a traveling company of acrobats, clowns, and trained animals ("the children always love to go to the circus")
  2. A frenetic disorganized (and often comic) disturbance suggestive of a large public entertainment ("it was so funny it was a circus")
  3. A genus of haws comprising the harriers
  4. An arena consisting of an oval or circular area enclosed by tiers of seats and usually covered by a tent ("they used the elephants to help put up the circus")
  5. (antiquity) an open-air stadium for chariot races and gladiatorial games
  6. A travelling company of entertainers; including trained animals ("he ran away from home to join the circus")

From Latin circus (“ring, circle”), from Proto-Indo-European *sker, *ker (“to turn, to bend”).

  1. A traveling company of performers that may include acrobats, clowns, trained animals, and other novelty acts, that gives shows usually in a circular tent.
    The circus will be in town next week.
  2. A round open space in a town or city where multiple streets meet.
    Oxford Circus in London is at the north end of Regent Street.
  3. (figuratively) A spectacle; a noisy fuss.
  4. (historical) In the ancient Roman Empire, a building for chariot racing.
  5. (military, World War II) A code name for bomber attacks with fighter escorts in the day time. The attacks were against short-range targets with the intention of occupying enemy fighters and keeping their fighter units in the area concerned.
  6. (obsolete) Circuit; space; enclosure.

circus was also found in the following language(s): Latin

Notable Persons Named Circus

Circus is an alternative hip hop rapping. His most notable accomplishments were from 1998 to present. Circus was given the name Marcus Aureli .


Notable Persons With the Last Name Circus

Circus is an alternative hip hop rapping. His most notable accomplishments were from 1998 to present. Circus was given the name Marcus Aureli .


Where is the name Circus popular?

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Popularity of Circus as a last name

The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Circus as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Iowa, New York, or Mississippi.

Fun Facts about the name Circus

  • When was the first name Circus first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the name Circus is Sunday, March 1st, 1931.
  • How unique is the name Circus? From 1880 to 2017 less than 5 people per year have been born with the first name Circus. Hoorah! You are a unique individual.
  • Weird things about the name Circus: Your name in reverse order is Sucric. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Ciursc. How do you pronounce that?

What Circuss Have Visited This Page?

Past life for Circus born Mar 16, 1926

I do not know how you feel about it, but you were a male in your last earthly incarnation. You were born somewhere around the territory of Mongolia approximately on 1825. Your profession was warrior, hunter, fisherman, and executor of sacrifices.

You were sane, practical person, materialist with no spiritual consciousness. Your simple wisdom helped the weak and the poor. You should develop self-love and ability to implant hope into hearts of people. Ambition - is not everything. True wealth is buried in your soul.

Name poster for Circus

Name poster for Circus(click to save the high quality version)

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All Name Lists

  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
  • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.