From time to time, I have encountered the abbreviation "CKT" for "circuit".

No common language (English, German, French, Spanish) has a word with K for circuit.

What is the meaning of this?

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2 Answers 2


This site:

MikeHolt CKT Origins

Makes the claim that it comes from MIL-STD-12:

CKT Origin

A copy of MIL-STD-12 is provided at:


In there you can see the CKT abbreviation:

CKT Abbreviation

This is a very old (and now obsolete) MIL-STD but why is likely anyone's guess. In my experience there is often little logic to things standardized by the US Military either historically or currently.


I suspect it came from the pronunciation.

The "c" in the middle of circuit is pronounced as a "hard c" which sounds the same as a "k". So "ckt" is a reasonable representation of the three most important sounds in the word circuit.

It's also quite possible that "cct" was already taken when the abreviation was introduced. MIL-STD-12 has "cct" as "circle cutting" which seems likely to be a term that was already in use before electronic circuits became a thing.


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