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 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 Oil developments have slowly encircled Nuiqsut; a major oil processing facility is visible on the horizon. Author: Nat Herz, Anchorage Daily News, "With ANWR drilling on its doorstep, a North Slope village is poised to profit," 31 July 2019 There is also an emerging market for space station repair, which is an offshoot of the satellite servicing business that’s booming in LEO as a growing number of constellations encircle the globe. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "A 10-Year Odyssey: What Space Stations Will Look Like in 2030," 10 June 2019 The storm continued to grow, eventually encircling the planet by June 20. Mike Wall, Space.com, "How the Curiosity Rover Detected a Monster Mars Dust Storm Will Surprise You," 28 Sep. 2018 The sculptural form of the Oscillate slide defines the park’s playing area, encircling trees, picnic areas, and places to gather. Lauren Ro, Curbed, "13 exciting designs for playground of the future," 10 May 2018 Artist renderings have shown a 42-inch handrail marking the south wall, and encircling much of the area that once comprised the Alamo’s main courtyard. Scott Huddleston, ExpressNews.com, "Alamo remains closed due to coronavirus restrictions, but work on $450 million makeover project continues in downtown San Antonio," 10 Apr. 2020 More than a dozen muted TV screens encircling the desks played cable news shows about the virus that went unwatched. Washington Post, "24 hours inside the lives upended by coronavirus in the nation’s capital," 2 Apr. 2020 Living under lockdown conditions while a pandemic encircles the globe is also difficult, logistically as well as psychologically. Ashley Fetters, The Atlantic, "COVID-19 Is Upending Parents’ Birth Plans," 19 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

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Encircle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/encircle. Accessed 7 Jun. 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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