# Oval vs. Circle: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Updated on July 31, 2024
An "Oval" is an elongated, curved shape resembling an egg, while a "Circle" is a perfectly round shape with all points equidistant from the center.

## Key Differences

An "Oval", often seen in its resemblance to an egg, has no fixed definition in mathematics, which sets it apart from the precise definition of a "Circle". A circle is strictly defined by its radius.
When observing an "Oval", you'll notice it doesn't maintain a consistent width throughout. In contrast, a "Circle" maintains the same diameter, regardless of where it's measured.
In art or everyday contexts, people might loosely refer to an "Oval" shape when it appears slightly stretched or elliptical. On the other hand, the term "Circle" is used when referencing a perfectly round shape, free from any sort of elongation.
The terms "Oval" and "Circle" also differ in their symmetry. While a circle has infinite lines of symmetry, an oval typically has two: one horizontal and one vertical.
From a geometric standpoint, every "Circle" is an ellipse, but not every "Oval" can be classified as a circle. This distinction roots back to the stricter definition circles hold in mathematical contexts.

## Comparison Chart

### Definition

Elongated, curved shape
Perfectly round shape

### Symmetry

Typically has two lines of symmetry
Has infinite lines of symmetry

### Diameter

Varies depending on where it's measured
Constant throughout

Loosely defined

### Common Association

Resembles an egg
All points equidistant from the center

## Oval and Circle Definitions

#### Oval

An elongated, rounded shape with no fixed mathematical definition.
The mirror had an elegant oval shape.

#### Circle

A round plane figure with all points equidistant from the center.
She drew a perfect circle on the board.

#### Oval

An elliptical form or figure.
The track was oval in design.

#### Circle

A plane curve everywhere equidistant from a given fixed point, the center.

#### Oval

A shape resembling the form of an egg.
The artist painted an oval to represent the egg.

#### Circle

A planar region bounded by a circle.

#### Oval

Curved shape without sharp edges or corners.
The oval table was perfect for the dining room.

#### Circle

Something, such as a ring, shaped like such a plane curve.

#### Oval

A shape with typically two lines of symmetry.
He noticed that her face had a soft oval shape.

#### Circle

A circular or nearly circular course, circuit, or orbit:a satellite's circle around the earth.

#### Oval

Resembling an egg in shape.

#### Circle

A traffic circle.

#### Oval

Resembling an ellipse in shape; elliptical.

#### Circle

A series or process that finishes at its starting point or continuously repeats itself; a cycle.

#### Oval

An egg-shaped or elliptical form or figure.

#### Circle

A group of people sharing an interest, activity, or achievement:well-known in artistic circles.

#### Oval

An elliptical track, as for racing or athletic events.

#### Circle

A territorial or administrative division, especially of a province, in some European countries.

#### Oval

An elongated round shape resembling an egg or ellipse. Category:en:Curves

#### Circle

A sphere of influence or interest; domain.

#### Oval

A thing having such a shape, such as an arena.

#### Circle

(Logic)A vicious circle.

#### Oval

(math) In a projective plane, a set of points such that no three are collinear and there is a unique tangent line at each point.

#### Circle

To make or form a circle around:The hedge circles the fountain.

#### Oval

(AU) A sports field, typically but not exclusively oval in shape.

#### Circle

To move in a circle around:The ship circled the island.

#### Oval

Having the shape of an oval.

#### Circle

To move in a circle.

#### Oval

Of or pertaining to an ovum.
Oval conceptions

#### Circle

(geometry) A two-dimensional geometric figure, a line, consisting of the set of all those points in a plane that are equally distant from a given point (center).
The set of all points (x, y) such that {{(x
R2}} is a circle of radius r around the point (1, 0).

#### Oval

Of or pertaining to eggs; done in the egg, or inception; as, oval conceptions.

#### Circle

A two-dimensional geometric figure, a disk, consisting of the set of all those points of a plane at a distance less than or equal to a fixed distance (radius) from a given point.

#### Oval

Having the figure of an egg; oblong and curvilinear, with one end broader than the other, or with both ends of about the same breadth; in popular usage, elliptical.

#### Circle

Any shape, curve or arrangement of objects that approximates to or resembles the geometric figures.
Children, please join hands and form a circle.

#### Circle

Any thin three-dimensional equivalent of the geometric figures.
Cut a circle out of that sheet of metal.

#### Oval

A body or figure in the shape of an egg, or popularly, of an ellipse.

#### Circle

A curve that more or less forms part or all of a circle.
The crank moves in a circle.

#### Oval

A closed plane curve resulting from the intersection of a circular cone and a plane cutting completely through it;
The sums of the distances from the foci to any point on an ellipse is constant

#### Circle

A specific group of persons; especially one who shares a common interest.
Inner circle
Circle of friends
Literary circle

#### Oval

Rounded like an egg

#### Circle

The orbit of an astronomical body.

#### Circle

(cricket) A line comprising two semicircles of 30 yards radius centred on the wickets joined by straight lines parallel to the pitch used to enforce field restrictions in a one-day match.

#### Circle

(Wicca) A ritual circle that is cast three times deosil and closes three times widdershins either in the air with a wand or literally with stones or other items used for worship.

#### Circle

(obsolete) Compass; circuit; enclosure.

#### Circle

(astronomy) An instrument of observation, whose graduated limb consists of an entire circle. When fixed to a wall in an observatory, it is called a mural circle; when mounted with a telescope on an axis and in Y's, in the plane of the meridian, a meridian or transit circle; when involving the principle of reflection, like the sextant, a reflecting circle; and when that of repeating an angle several times continuously along the graduated limb, a repeating circle.

#### Circle

A series ending where it begins, and repeating itself.

#### Circle

(logic) A form of argument in which two or more unproved statements are used to prove each other; inconclusive reasoning.

#### Circle

Indirect form of words; circumlocution.

#### Circle

A territorial division or district.
The ten Circles of the Holy Roman Empire were those principalities or provinces which had seats in the German Diet.

#### Circle

(in the plural) A bagginess of the skin below the eyes from lack of sleep.
After working all night, she had circles under her eyes.

#### Circle

(transitive) To travel around along a curved path.
The wolves circled the herd of deer.

#### Circle

(transitive) To surround.
A high fence circles the enclosure.

#### Circle

(transitive) To place or mark a circle around.
Circle the jobs that you are interested in applying for.

#### Circle

(intransitive) To travel in circles.

#### Circle

A plane figure, bounded by a single curve line called its circumference, every part of which is equally distant from a point within it, called the center.

#### Circle

The line that bounds such a figure; a circumference; a ring.

#### Circle

An instrument of observation, the graduated limb of which consists of an entire circle.

#### Circle

A round body; a sphere; an orb.
It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth.

#### Circle

Compass; circuit; inclosure.
In the circle of this forest.

#### Circle

A company assembled, or conceived to assemble, about a central point of interest, or bound by a common tie; a class or division of society; a coterie; a set.
As his name gradually became known, the circle of his acquaintance widened.

#### Circle

A circular group of persons; a ring.

#### Circle

A series ending where it begins, and repeating itself.
Thus in a circle runs the peasant's pain.

#### Circle

A form of argument in which two or more unproved statements are used to prove each other; inconclusive reasoning.
That heavy bodies descend by gravity; and, again, that gravity is a quality whereby a heavy body descends, is an impertinent circle and teaches nothing.

#### Circle

Indirect form of words; circumlocution.
Has he given the lie,In circle, or oblique, or semicircle.

#### Circle

A territorial division or district.

#### Circle

To move around; to revolve around.
Other planets circle other suns.

#### Circle

To encompass, as by a circle; to surround; to inclose; to encircle.
Their heads are circled with a short turban.
So he lies, circled with evil.

#### Circle

To move circularly; to form a circle; to circulate.
Thy name shall circle round the gaping through.

#### Circle

Ellipse in which the two axes are of equal length; a plane curve generated by one point moving at a constant distance from a fixed point;
He calculated the circumference of the circle

#### Circle

An unofficial association of people or groups;
The smart set goes there
They were an angry lot

#### Circle

Something approximating the shape of a circle;
The chairs were arranged in a circle

#### Circle

Movement once around a course;
He drove an extra lap just for insurance

#### Circle

A road junction at which traffic streams circularly around a central island;
The accident blocked all traffic at the rotary

#### Circle

Street names for flunitrazepan

#### Circle

A curved section or tier of seats in a hall or theater or opera house; usually the first tier above the orchestra;
They had excellent seats in the dress circle

#### Circle

Any circular or rotating mechanism;
The machine punched out metal circles

#### Circle

Travel around something;
Circle the globe

Move in circles

#### Circle

Be around;
Developments surround the town
The river encircles the village

#### Circle

Form a circle around;
Encircle the errors

#### Circle

A loop or ring formed by a curved line.
The necklace was made up of tiny silver circles.

#### Circle

A group of people with shared professions, interests, or acquaintances.
He was well-known in academic circles.

#### Circle

To move around an object or place, especially more than once.
The bird circled above us, then landed.

#### Circle

Representing infinity due to its endless loop.
The circle of life continues indefinitely.

## FAQs

#### Can an "Oval" be a "Circle"?

No, while every circle is an ellipse, not every oval is a circle.

#### Is there a fixed mathematical definition for "Oval"?

No, unlike "Circle", which is strictly defined, "Oval" has no fixed mathematical definition.

#### Can "Circle" refer to a group of people?

Yes, "Circle" can mean a group of people with shared interests.

#### Are all ovals elliptical?

Yes, all ovals are elliptical in nature.

#### Are there variations within "Oval" shapes?

Yes, ovals can vary in elongation and overall proportions.

#### How many lines of symmetry does a "Circle" have?

A "Circle" has infinite lines of symmetry.

#### Why might someone choose an "Oval" shape for a design?

"Ovals" might be chosen for aesthetic reasons or to fit specific spaces.

#### Is a racetrack typically an "Oval"?

Yes, many racetracks have an oval design.

#### Can "Circle" be a verb?

Yes, "Circle" can mean to move around an object or place.

#### Is a "Circle" always two-dimensional?

In common usage, yes. However, a three-dimensional analog is called a "sphere".