Circa is another word that comes from the Latin language. Pronounced ‘sir-ca’, it is a preposition and is another way to say about, around or approximately.
Here are some examples:
- Built circa the 14th century; the castle served as home to the King for forty years.
- Circa the 20th-century, electricity was becoming more common in homes.
Circa is not a word used in conversation as it is very specific to history and descriptions of past things and places. It is more commonly used in its written form for essays, reports and detailed studies.
The only time you may hear it spoken is when taking a tour of a historical thing or place. Your tour guide may use it to provide information about the thing or place you are visiting, for example:
- The Temple was built by the native people circa 900 C.E.
Circa is often abbreviated when used, and you may see it written with a little c before a date, just like this: He was born c. 1350-60