verb \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

Related to ENCROACH

creep, inch, worm
See Synonym Discussion at trespass


Next Word in the Dictionary: encrust
Previous Word in the Dictionary: encrinus
All Words Near: encroach

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up encroach? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More