encircle

verb
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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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 As Karen's body was unzipped from the body bag and laid out at the morgue, the coroner took note of a black band still encircling her left wrist: a Fitbit Alta HR—a smartwatch that tracks heartbeat and movement. Wired, "A Brutal Murder, a Wearable Witness, and an Unlikely Suspect," 17 Sep. 2019 Tens of thousands of traumatized survivors, with nothing but wreckage encircling them and no way to communicate, do not even know where to begin. Kirk Semple, New York Times, "On Dorian-Battered Island, What’s Left? Virtually Nothing," 6 Sep. 2019 Similar blockades encircled the capital city in an attempt to choke off supplies to dairy processors until farmers could get a better price. Rick Barrett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Margarine smugglers, a deadly milk war and more flavor Wisconsin's dairy history," 28 Aug. 2019 But perhaps most impressive was the third type of nest, which saw the frogs dig depressions into the gravel riverbanks and encircle them with larger stones and rocks—effectively creating their own ponds. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "How Did the World’s Largest Frog Get So Big? Possibly by Building Its Own Ponds," 12 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.

See More

First Known Use of encircle

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for encircle

Middle English enserclen

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about encircle

Statistics for encircle

Last Updated

13 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for encircle

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for encircle

encircle

verb

English Language Learners Definition of encircle

: to form a circle around (someone or something) : to surround (someone or something)

encircle

verb
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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

a bell tower

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!