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

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 This is the biggest defense system against wildfires in Europe, consisting of 40 towers that encircle the towns, the largest standing 24 meters tall. WIRED, 26 Aug. 2022 These defenses will help Russia hold the western bank of the Dnipro — where Kherson City is located — and hinder Ukrainian forces who might attempt to cross the river and encircle the city from the southeast. Grayson Quay, The Week, 2 Aug. 2022 Intense fighting in Ukraine’s eastern region continued on Friday as Russian forces attempt to encircle the city of Lysychansk, one of the last cities standing between complete Russian control of the eastern Luhansk region. Ellen Francis, Washington Post, 1 July 2022 On Wednesday, Russian forces continued their push to encircle the city of Lysychansk, the final holdout of Ukrainian forces in the eastern Luhansk region, after the fall of Severodonetsk last week. Alan Cullison, WSJ, 29 June 2022 For the other photograph, Webb took a wider field of view that shows two of Jupiter’s moons, Amalthea and Adrastea, and the very faint rings of space dust that encircle the planet. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 23 Aug. 2022 The exercises started at noon on Thursday in six zones that effectively encircle Taiwan. Alastair Gale, WSJ, 7 Aug. 2022 Taiwan is now bracing for Beijing to begin live-fire military drills on Thursday — an escalation without recent historical precedent — that could encircle the island and drop missiles into seas only 10 miles from its coast. Paul Mozur, BostonGlobe.com, 3 Aug. 2022 The map shows the drills will encircle the island more completely than previous exercises -- including the military exercise areas and missile splashdown zones during a major crisis in the Taiwan Strait in the mid-1990s. Simone Mccarthy And Brad Lendon, CNN, 3 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

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

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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

21 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Encircle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/encircle. Accessed 28 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for encircle


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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