The term circus can mean several things:

  • A public equipped space for shows and other spectacles of the Classical period (e.g., in ancient Rome, the Circus Maximus); the term derives from the circular shape of the first arenas in which, mostly, horse and biga (two-horse chariot) races were run.
  • A travelling show that usually includes acrobats, animal trainers, clowns and other novelty acts. See circus (performing art).
  • An open space, usually circular, where a number of roads meet, such as Oxford Circus, Cambridge Circus and Piccadilly Circus in London.
  • A genus of hawks. See harrier

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