en·cir·cle | \ in-ˈsər-kəl , en- \
encircled; encircling; encircles

Definition of encircle 

transitive verb

1 : to form a circle around : surround

2 : to pass completely around

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Other words from encircle

encirclement \in-ˈsər-kəl-mənt, en- \ noun

Examples of encircle in a Sentence

A crowd of reporters encircled the mayor. communication satellites encircling the earth

Recent Examples on the Web

Images of trees in the four seasons’ deciduous stages lie between the points, and a line of homes encircles the compass’ center. Sven Berg, The Seattle Times, "Heat, water and trucks are destroying a Boise mosaic," 9 July 2018 Image The swift communist offensive also encircled and overran outnumbered American positions, leaving heaps of dead in places like the Chosin Reservoir that American burial details never had a chance to record and inter. New York Times, "Trump-Kim Deal Promises Answers for Families of Korean War M.I.A.s," 15 June 2018 Normally, these storms, which can grow to become planet-encircling, start out locally and pass the valley before growing. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Opportunity rover threatened by giant storm on Mars," 13 June 2018 Like on Earth, Jupiter’s atmosphere and cloud formations encircle the planet in great jet streams. Brian Resnick, Vox, "The awesome beauty of Jupiter, in 13 photos," 21 May 2018 The nine encircled the small fire, held hands and prayed. Tim Prudente, baltimoresun.com, "Once prosecuted, now honored, Catonsville Nine get a memorial marker," 5 May 2018 The controversy encircled Steven Hart too, drawing attention to his clients with business before the EPA. Bloomberg.com, "Lobbyist Steps Down in Fallout From Pruitt Condo Controversy," 20 Apr. 2018 An officer drew his gun during the arrest As a half dozen police officers encircled Brown, a sergeant yelled at him to take his hands out of his pockets, even though Brown had his hands in and out of his pockets up to that point. Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "5 new things we learned in the Sterling Brown lawsuit against Milwaukee police," 19 June 2018 This includes larger-than-life paintings of police officers brandishing water guns, encircling victims with lassos, and wielding power in nightmarish ways. Carolina A. Miranda, latimes.com, "Datebook: Shots of old Route 66, dreamlike paintings and garments fashioned from paper," 12 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of encircle

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for encircle

Middle English enserclen

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Statistics for encircle

Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for encircle

The first known use of encircle was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for encircle



English Language Learners Definition of encircle

: to form a circle around (someone or something) : to surround (someone or something)


en·cir·cle | \ in-ˈsər-kəl \
encircled; encircling

Kids Definition of encircle

1 : to make a circle around : surround A deep moat encircles the castle.

2 : to go completely around The dogs encircled the sheep.

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More from Merriam-Webster on encircle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for encircle

Spanish Central: Translation of encircle

Nglish: Translation of encircle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of encircle for Arabic Speakers

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