Simple Definition of encroach
: 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
1 : to enter by gradual steps or by stealth into the possessions or rights of another
2 : to advance beyond the usual or proper limits <the gradually encroaching sea>
Examples of encroach
The suburbs encroach further into the rural areas each year.
<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
Seen and Heard
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