Come Full Circle

Also: Turn full circle or go full circle.

Meaning of Come Full Circle Idiom

The idiom ‘come full circle’ is similar to the idiom “what goes around comes around.” The expression describes a situation in which although a whole series of changes or events have taken place, conditions have returned to the original circumstances or position. There is usually a sense of inevitability implied, as if a cycle has been completed.


“Mr. Johnson lost a great deal of money on bad stock market deals but has now made it all back in real estate. Things have come full circle for him.”

“Just when I thought we had agreed on a solution, we come full circle and end up back at the same old objections.”

Mythical wheel of fortune
The Wheel of Fortune of the Goddess Fortuna is the probable origin of the idiom, come full circle, via Shakespeare’s King Lear.


It is thought that this idiom comes from Shakespeare’s King Lear (5:3): “The wheel is come full circle.” Shakespeare was referring to the mythical Goddess of Fortune, Fortuna, who turned a great Wheel of Fortune.

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