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 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 In Washington, Always-Trumpers who planned to encircle the Capitol were awash in positive emotions, despite heckles from people passing by. Washington Post, "It began on a gold escalator. It may have ended at Four Seasons Total Landscaping.," 8 Nov. 2020 The Brooklyn Center police station, too, has been increasingly fortified throughout the week, with city workers on Thursday setting up concrete barriers and a second fence to encircle a perimeter built earlier in the week. Nicholas Rowan, Washington Examiner, "How the National Guard prevented massive riots after Daunte Wright shooting," 16 Apr. 2021 China portrayed the organization as an attempt to encircle it and the possibility that Beijing could retaliate economically had the three US partners backing away from any strong positions. Brad Lendon, CNN, "Quad alliance of US, Japan, India and Australia is part of Biden's plan to contain China. But some experts aren't so sure," 11 Mar. 2021 Fencing and concrete barriers encircle the county government center. Grace Hauck, USA TODAY, "‘We’re paying attention’: Vigils, rallies planned in George Floyd’s honor ahead of Derek Chauvin trial," 28 Mar. 2021 More to explore At Lake Vermilion, wild roses and thick woods encircle a grassy area with picnic tables overlooking sparkling waves. Star Tribune, "You’ve probably been to a Minnesota state park, but that doesn’t mean you know the state park system. It’s amazing.," 21 Mar. 2021 Enticing you to stay longer are the luxury hotel’s restaurants that encircle the space. Jennifer Kester, Forbes, "32 Stunning Hotel Lobbies," 19 Mar. 2021 Realistic-looking daisies and wildflowers encircle the grapevine base, giving it a welcoming full look. Sanah Faroke, Better Homes & Gardens, "The 12 Best Spring Wreaths on Amazon to Celebrate the New Season," 12 Mar. 2021 The entire BeltLine is made from former railroad corridors that used to encircle the city. Ellie Nan Storck, Travel + Leisure, "Atlanta Travel Guide," 2 Mar. 2021

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

12 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Encircle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/encircle. Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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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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