According to Cambridge Dictionaries Online http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/circa?q=circa, circa is a preposition word meaning approximately and is “used especially with years”. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circa explains that circa is also latin for ‘around’ and used quite a bit for historical writing. The shortened form can be written in any of the following ways (although the last two are only used occasionally):
Here are some examples in sentences, where it is used before dates (where the date has been estimated):
- The King reigned from 1706 to c.1745
- Jerry attended the school from c.1985 to c.1986
- Simon was born c.2005
Example 1, suggests that 1706 is a known date whereas 1745 is an approximate date. In examples 2 and 3 all the dates are approximate ones.
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Cambridge Dictionaries Online http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/circa?q=circ