AskDefine | Define circa

User Contributed Dictionary



Latin circa


  • (UK) /ˈsɜːkə/, /"s3:k@/
  • (US) /ˈsɝkə/, /"s3`k@/
  • Rhymes: -ɜː(r)kə
  • Hyphenation: cir·ca


  1. approximately, about
    Julius Caesar visited this area ca. 50 BC

Usage notes

  • Used only before dates.
  • Abbreviated as either ca., ca, or c., rarely as cca. or cir...






circa + accusative case

Extensive Definition

Circa (often abbreviated c., ca., ca or cca. and sometimes italicized to show it is Latin) literally means "about" or "around". It is widely used in genealogy and historical writing, when the dates of events are approximately known.
For example, an encyclopedia entry for Genghis Khan may begin with "Genghis Khan (c. 1162 – August 18, 1227)".
When used in date ranges, a circa is applied before each approximate date, while dates without a circa immediately preceding them are generally assumed to be known with certainty. For instance, the 1162 in the above example is approximate, but the August 18, 1227 is known.
circa in Afrikaans: Circa
circa in Catalan: Circa
circa in Czech: Cirka
circa in Spanish: Circa
circa in French: Circa
circa in Indonesian: Ca.
circa in Norwegian Nynorsk: Cirka
circa in Portuguese: Circa
circa in Slovak: Circa
circa in Finnish: Cirka
circa in Urdu: تقریباً (تاریخ)
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