# What is a circular arc? Definition and examples

A circular arc or simply arc is a part of a circle or the curve between any two points on a circle. In the image below, a circular arc is shown in orange.

Whenever you use a compass and you draw something that is not a circle, you are drawing an arc. An arc can be a minor arc, a major arc, or a semicircle.

## Minor arc and major arc

Looking at the circle below, the minor arc is shown in orange and the major arc is shown in blue.

## Semicircle

In the circle below, you can see two semicircles, one in orange and another one in blue.

Notice that a minor arc is smaller than a semicircle and a major arc is bigger than a semicircle.

A minor arc is an arc whose measure is less than 180 degrees.

A major arc is an arc whose measure is bigger than 180 degrees.

A semicircle is an arc whose measure is equal to 180 degrees.

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