en·​cir·​cle | \ in-ˈsər-kəl How to pronounce encircle (audio) , 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 How to pronounce encirclement (audio) , 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 In their off-hours, guests can soak in the natural hot springs that encircle the property or wander the 70 acres of manicured gardens and walking trails. Siobhan Reid, Travel + Leisure, "The Top 15 Domestic Spas," 8 July 2020 If so, Israeli territory would encircle areas designated for the Palestinians and leave places like Jericho isolated. Ruth Eglash, Washington Post, "Once an oasis of peace, Jericho now fears Israeli annexation," 29 June 2020 Facebook and Google already have plans underway to encircle the continent with high-capacity undersea cables. Yomi Kazeem, Quartz Africa, "Nigeria’s new broadband access plan is doomed to fail unless it fixes a perennial problem," 4 June 2020 But the question for investors is whether rates can rise fast enough to outrun a bevy of unusual risks encircling the industry—and whether insurers will have enough capital flexibility to take the best advantage of... Telis Demos, WSJ, "Insurers’ Best Shelter Against Storms Is Price," 2 June 2020 The players can only wade in with the everyday folks encircling the final holes. Bill Pennington, New York Times, "What We Miss Without the Masters," 10 Apr. 2020 While in town, Kaye decided to undertake another project: a ten-foot-by-eight-foot yarn installation of outback animals encircling a sapling, to raise awareness of the Australian wildfires. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, "Crochet for a Cause," 10 Feb. 2020 Earlier this week, under the wide steel-gray skies of Washington, DC, the streets encircling the US Supreme Court Building were animated by a rising tide of color and righteous fury. Wired, "Depth of Field: The Queer Rights Movement Faces Down the Supreme Court," 10 Oct. 2019 The tables for panelists onstage, however, were bedecked in banners displaying the SRA’s winkingly Soviet-style logo: three rifle cartridges under a red star, encircled by stalks of wheat. James Pogue, Harper's Magazine, "Good Guys with Guns," 30 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for encircle

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for encircle

Last Updated

22 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Encircle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/encircle. Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for encircle


How to pronounce encircle (audio)

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 How to pronounce encircle (audio) \
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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