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 Signs went up Thursday showing a cigarette and a vaping device encircled in red with a slash through them. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Santee officially ends smoking in its parks," 23 Aug. 2019 The company’s offices on Red Bank Road in Madisonville are encircled with a 1.5-mile path, and employees can use the trail to relieve stress or pick up their steps for the day. Anne Saker, Cincinnati.com, "Top Workplaces Cincinnati: HealthWorks, Queen City Homecare and Our Lady lead small division," 5 June 2019 Thick walls, first built in the 10th century and modified over the years, encircle the old heart of Dubrovnik and are high on the list of must-see attractions. USA TODAY, "The enchanting walled city of Dubrovnik," 9 June 2018 In the largest studio, the audience sits in the round, encircling the full ensemble of dancers. Claudia Bauer, San Francisco Chronicle, "Jenkins and collaborators immerse the audience in ‘Toward 45’," 18 May 2018 Silva was in charge of the 58th Division, one of the groups that encircled the final stronghold of the Tamil Tiger rebels in the last stages of the war. Washington Post, "New Sri Lankan army chief denies accusations of war abuses," 27 Aug. 2019 The eight nations that encircle the region are scrambling to assert and defend their claims over the Arctic, which remains one of the most daunting landscapes to project power on the planet. National Geographic, "Arctic Assets," 21 Aug. 2019 The seedbed of Morrison’s genius germinated in the family stories that encircled young Chloe, her older sister and two younger brothers. Karen R. Long, cleveland.com, "Lorain’s Toni Morrison captured African-American lives in luminous fiction that won over the world: Karen R. Long," 11 Aug. 2019 USA Gymnastics' logo is prominent on banners that encircle the competition floor - as difficult to ignore as the absence of signage of corporate sponsors that defected in the wake of the Nassar scandal. Anchorage Daily News, "Simon Biles blasts USA Gymnastics: ‘You had one job . . . and you couldn’t protect us!’," 7 Aug. 2019

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

27 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for encircle

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

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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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Comments on encircle

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a calculated move

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