1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Round

ROUND (O. Fr. rond, Lat. rotundus, the Fr. is the source also of Du. rond; Ger., Swed., Dan. and Nor. rund), circular, spherical, globular. As a substantive, the word has several specific applications; thus it is used of the rung of a ladder, of a rounded cross-bar connecting the legs of a chair, of the circuit of the watch under an officer which patrols the sentries in a fortress, fortified town, camp or other military station, and hence of the beat or customary course of a policeman, a postman, or a tradesman, and of the full course at such a game as golf. Similarly there were old dances called “rounds,” in which the dancers stood in a circle or ring. They were popular in the 16th and 17th centuries. Later the name was also applied to country dances where the dancers stood in two lines. For the “round” in music see Canon. A complaint or remonstrance signed by a number of persons is commonly known as a “round robin”; properly such a document should have the signatures arranged in a circle, the idea being that thus the order in which the complainants signed should be unknown. In the 16th century “round robin” was a name of mockery given to the Eucharist.