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 encircle (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 Some of the same people who cringe at the idea of returning to the office at 9 a.m. in a post-Zoom world managed to find their way to Colonial parking lots and shuttle buses in time to encircle the 10th tee at 8:16 a.m. Thursday. Tim Cowlishaw, Dallas News, 27 May 2021 The barrier would encircle one seat row, cutting off three seats -- including the one occupied by the symptomatic passenger. CNN, 21 June 2021 Waves of diamonds encircle a significant South Sea cultured pearl. Kristen Shirley, Forbes, 6 June 2021 The hotel's Premium Bay View Bungalow comes with a private terrace which offers panoramic views of Taiohae Bay and the dramatic peaks of the mountains that encircle it. Stephanie Takyi, CNN, 2 June 2021 Seven richly colored suites encircle the courtyard; below, centuries-old trees and fountains lend the lively ground-floor restaurant a sense of history. Travel + Leisure Staff, Travel + Leisure, 19 Feb. 2020 Paths will encircle the pool and into the woods around the five-acre property, which was donated to the town specifically for the memorial. Zach Murdock, courant.com, 28 Apr. 2021 This year, vehicles will be diverted from streets that encircle the Tidal Basin and several monuments will be closed. Washington Post, 23 Mar. 2021 In Washington, Always-Trumpers who planned to encircle the Capitol were awash in positive emotions, despite heckles from people passing by. Washington Post, 8 Nov. 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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Dictionary Entries Near encircle

enciphering alphabet


en clair

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Statistics for encircle

Last Updated

23 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Encircle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/encircle. Accessed 1 Aug. 2021.

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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 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on encircle

Nglish: Translation of encircle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of encircle for Arabic Speakers


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