en·​com·​pass | \ in-ˈkəm-pəs How to pronounce encompass (audio) , en- also -ˈkäm-\
encompassed; encompassing; encompasses

Definition of encompass

transitive verb

1a : include, comprehend a plan that encompasses a number of aims
b : envelop
2a : to form a circle about : enclose
b obsolete : to go completely around
3 : bring about, accomplish encompass a task

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from encompass

encompassment \ in-​ˈkəm-​pə-​smənt How to pronounce encompassment (audio) , en-​ also  -​ˈkäm-​ \ noun

Examples of encompass in a Sentence

The district encompasses most of the downtown area. a neighborhood encompassed by a highway

Recent Examples on the Web

Best Charcoal Grill Deals The grill sale is enormous, encompassing dozens of different styles, colors, and sizes of equipment. Rebekah Lowin, Country Living, "Hurry! Grills Are Up to 70% Off Right Now at Wayfair," 14 May 2019 Beijing sees Djibouti as part of its multitrillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative that encompasses seaports in a range of nations, including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Greece and Belgium. Costas Paris, WSJ, "China Tightens Grip on East African Port," 21 Feb. 2019 Truthfully, sustainability is an umbrella term that encompasses all of the above, and then some. Emily Farra, Vogue, "4 Ways the CFDA’s New Sustainability Report Will Change Your Fashion Week Conversations," 16 Jan. 2019 Amazon’s Virginia offices will be in a part of Arlington that local politicians and Amazon are calling National Landing, an area around Reagan National Airport that encompasses Crystal City and Potomac Yard. Joseph Pisani, The Seattle Times, "Amazon goes bicoastal, will open HQs in New York, DC suburb," 14 Nov. 2018 Detroit City Council voted 8-0 Tuesday in favor of the creation of a historic district, just south of Little Caesars Arena, that encompasses several properties owned by the Ilitch family. Allie Gross, Detroit Free Press, "How new Detroit historic district impacts the Ilitch family," 10 July 2018 In the past decade, the student population here has shrunk by 250, down to 1,300 kids in a rural district that encompasses more than 400 square miles. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "A new public education movement is emerging in Wisconsin, a rebuke to Gov. Walker’s war on labor and school privatization," 3 July 2018 Aldermen agreed to amend a campus plan first put together in 2004 that encompasses an almost 46-acre area mainly bordered by Gladstone Avenue, Evanslawn Avenue, Marseillaise Place and Prairie Street. Steve Lord, Aurora Beacon-News, "City Council OKs new plans for Aurora University, West Plaza," 29 June 2018 The series will tell the brutal true story of Christopher Columbus and the first Wild West frontier, the tropical Caribbean island that now encompasses the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Borys Kit, The Hollywood Reporter, "Dana Brunetti Launches New Film and TV Company Cavalry Media (Exclusive)," 26 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'encompass.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of encompass

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for encompass

Middle English

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about encompass

Statistics for encompass

Last Updated

21 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for encompass

The first known use of encompass was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for encompass



English Language Learners Definition of encompass

: to include (something) as a part
: to cover or surround (an area)


en·​com·​pass | \ in-ˈkəm-pəs How to pronounce encompass (audio) \
encompassed; encompassing

Kids Definition of encompass

1 : to cover or surround : encircle Mountains encompass the peaceful valley.
2 : include The subject of social studies encompasses history, civics, and geography.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on encompass

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


highly pertinent or appropriate

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!