Obviously we can use "circa" for approximate dates in the past.

But it doesn't feel correct for use with future approximate dates.

e.g. "The release will go into live circa 20th May."

It still doesn't feel correct even if we're using years rather than specific dates.

e.g. "The new development will be completed circa 2019".


closed as off-topic by Edwin Ashworth, Drew, Glorfindel, tchrist Apr 15 '17 at 14:00

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  • What does the dictionary tell you about circa? – Drew Apr 13 '17 at 20:48

There's no problem whatsoever with using circa for future dates in exactly the same ways that it's used for dates in the past. It's a bit odd talking about a single day next month with it, but it'd be just as odd talking about a single day last month as well.

If you aren't feeling latinate or just dislike the idea, just fall back on any of the native English words that mean exactly the same thing as circa: about, around, sometime near...


It's somewhat pretentious to use it for past dates, when "around" or "about" or even "approximately" would all serve perfectly well for either past or future dates.

  • There's nothing pretentious about circa in historical writing, though it certainly would be if you were using it the way OP was to talk about dates within the past month or two. Also didn't answer his question about the correctness (regardless of pretension) of using it to discuss the future. – lly Apr 13 '17 at 16:22

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