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 gunman was slammed by a police vehicle and set spinning into a group of cars, where he was soon encircled by authorities, according to bystander video and Midland County District Attorney Laura Nodolf. Faith Karimi, Ed Lavandera And Christina Maxouris, CNN, "The man who fired randomly on West Texas roads was stopped by a group of officers who rammed into his car," 2 Sep. 2019 Many use the bridge to go to and from work. ___ 9:35 a.m. Brazilian television is showing an armed hostage-taker leaving a bus with dozens of passengers on board and being encircled by police after a standoff in Rio de Janeiro. Washington Post, "The Latest: Police fatally shoot Rio bus hostage-taker," 20 Aug. 2019 The Illilouette Creek wilderness area, in Yosemite National Park, is encircled by granite peaks that create a natural firebreak. Nicola Twilley, The New Yorker, "A Trailblazing Plan to Fight California Wildfires," 19 Aug. 2019 The Milepost 97 fire, Oregon’s largest wildfire, is now fully encircled by containment lines, officials said. oregonlive.com, "Family, teammates mourn slain Portland State basketball star: Morning Briefing," 5 Aug. 2019 Wealthy neighborhoods in New York were reportedly encircled by officers to protect them. Cameron Knight, Cincinnati.com, "100 years ago, the U.S. prepared for a nationwide anarchist attack," 3 July 2019 Along the entire front many German nests of resistance and fortified points are encircled by the enemy and holding their own. Wes Gallagher, Houston Chronicle, "ALLIES GAIN IN NAZI-MADE FLOODS," 9 June 2019 The stunning Misol Ha is quite different, a single cascade of some 115 feet (35 meters) spilling into a pool encircled by tropical greenery. Washington Post, "Back to Chiapas 25 years after covering rebel uprising," 27 Aug. 2019 From the bed of a white pick-up, Lladrovci saw a large expanse of dirt encircled by a chain-link fence. The Economist, "Confessions of an Islamic State fighter," 16 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

15 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for encircle

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

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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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on encircle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for encircle

Spanish Central: Translation of encircle

Nglish: Translation of encircle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of encircle for Arabic Speakers

Comments on encircle

What made you want to look up encircle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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