verb en·croach \in-ˈkrōch, en-\

: to gradually move or go into an area that is beyond the usual or desired limits

: to gradually take or begin to use or affect something that belongs to someone else or that someone else is using

Full Definition of ENCROACH

intransitive verb
:  to enter by gradual steps or by stealth into the possessions or rights of another
:  to advance beyond the usual or proper limits <the gradually encroaching sea>
en·croach·er noun
en·croach·ment \-ˈkrōch-mənt\ noun

Examples of ENCROACH

  1. The suburbs encroach further into the rural areas each year.
  2. <each year the sea continues to encroach upon the island's beaches>

Origin of ENCROACH

Middle English encrochen to get, seize, from Anglo-French encrocher, from en- + croc, croche hook — more at crochet
First Known Use: 1528

Synonym Discussion of ENCROACH

trespass, encroach, infringe, invade mean to make inroads upon the property, territory, or rights of another. trespass implies an unwarranted or unlawful intrusion <hunters trespassing on farmland>. encroach suggests gradual or stealthy entrance upon another's territory or usurpation of another's rights or possessions <the encroaching settlers displacing the native peoples>. infringe implies an encroachment clearly violating a right or prerogative <infringing a copyright>. invade implies a hostile and injurious entry into the territory or sphere of another <accused of invading their privacy>.
ENCROACHER Defined for Kids


verb en·croach \in-ˈkrōch\

Definition of ENCROACH for Kids

:  to take over the rights or property of another little by little or in secret <The prince encroached on the king's authority.>
:  to go beyond the usual or proper limits <Cities have encroached upon wildlife habitats.>


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