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.
- A public entertainment consisting typically of a variety of performances by acrobats, clowns, and trained animals.
- A traveling company that performs such entertainments.
- A circular arena, surrounded by tiers of seats and often covered by a tent, in which such shows are performed.
- A roofless oval enclosure surrounded by tiers of seats that was used in antiquity for public spectacles.
- Chiefly British An open circular place where several streets intersect.
- Informal Something suggestive of a circus, as in frenetic activity or noisy disorder: "The city is a circus of the senses” ( William H. Gass).