What are circus?

  • (noun): A frenetic disorganized (and often comic) disturbance suggestive of a circus or carnival.
    Example: "It was so funny it was a circus"
    Synonyms: carnival
    See also — Additional definitions below


A circus is commonly a travelling company of performers that may include clowns, acrobats, trained animals, trapeze acts, musicians, hoopers, tightrope walkers, jugglers, unicyclists and other stunt-oriented artists. The word also describes the performance that they give, which is usually a series of acts choreographed to music and introduced by a ringmaster. A traditional circus performance is normally held in a ring 13 m (42 ft) in diameter. This dimension was adopted by Philip Astley to enable a horse rider to stand upright on a cantering horse to perform a series of acrobatic maneuvers and to more easily retain their balance. Most modern circuses have a system of tiered seating around the ring for the public and since the late 19th early 20th century the performance has taken place under canvas and more recently plastic tents commonly called "The Big Top" .

Read more about Circus.

Some articles on circus:

Fred Van Buren - Disaster
... In the 1984 tour of Fossett’s Circus, in which the Van Buren’s were starring, the big top was totally destroyed in a violent storm that raged through Dublin in the early hours of 18 October ... with their own full illusion show with a 3,000 seater circus tent until 1992 ... took the illusion show into Wembley arena in conjunction with fellow showman Gerry Cottle’s Circus and indoor fun fair ...
Circus - Buildings
... In some towns, there are circus buildings where regular performances are held ... The best known are Blackpool Tower Circus Budapest Circus Circus Krone Building in Munich Cirque d'Hiver, Paris Cirque Jules Verne in Amiens Hippodrome Circus, Great ...
Frontier Circus
... Frontier Circus James Barton in "The Clan MacDuff" episode, 1962 Genre Western Written by Samuel A ... (1961-10-05) – September 6, 1962 (1962-09-06) Frontier Circus is an American Western television series about a traveling circus roaming the American West in the 1880s ...
Moscow State Circus
... The title “Moscow State Circus” is used for a variety of circuses ... Most commonly, it refers to one of the two circus buildings in Moscow, the “Circus Nikulin” (the old circus, featuring animal acts) and the “Bolshoi Circus ... The Russian Circus rose to world acclaim during the Soviet period, when acts from many Russian circuses united to tour the United States under the title, “The Moscow Circus.” During this ...
Raymond Luxury Yacht - Title
... The title Monty Python's Flying Circus was partly the result of the group's reputation at the BBC ... wanted their name to include the word "circus" because the BBC referred to the six members wandering around the building as a circus, in particular "Baron ... The group added "flying" to make it sound less like an actual circus and more like something from World War I ...

More definitions of "circus":

  • (noun): An arena consisting of an oval or circular area enclosed by tiers of seats and usually covered by a tent.
    Example: "They used the elephants to help put up the circus"
  • (noun): (antiquity) an open-air stadium for chariot races and gladiatorial games.
  • (noun): A genus of haws comprising the harriers.
    Synonyms: genus Circus
  • (noun): A travelling company of entertainers; including trained animals.
    Example: "He ran away from home to join the circus"
  • (noun): Performance given by a traveling company of acrobats clowns and trained animals.
    Example: "The children always love to go to the circus"

Famous quotes containing the word circus:

    The way to go to the circus, however, is with someone who has seen perhaps one theatrical performance before in his life and that in the High School hall.... The scales of sophistication are struck from your eyes and you see in the circus a gathering of men and women who are able to do things as a matter of course which you couldn’t do if your life depended on it.
    Robert Benchley (1889–1945)

    Winter and summer till old age began
    My circus animals were all on show,
    Those stilted boys, that burnished chariot,
    Lion and woman and the Lord knows what.
    William Butler Yeats (1865–1939)

    It beats sitting around with my butt in a sling.
    Antoinette Cancello, U.S. circus aerialist. As quoted in WomenSports magazine, p. 35 (January 1976)