en·​com·​pass | \ in-ˈkəm-pəs, en- also -ˈkäm-\
encompassed; encompassing; encompasses

Definition of encompass

transitive verb

1a : include, comprehend a plan that encompasses a number of aims
b : envelop
2a : to form a circle about : enclose
b obsolete : to go completely around
3 : bring about, accomplish encompass a task

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Other Words from encompass

encompassment \ in-​ˈkəm-​pə-​smənt , en-​ also  -​ˈkäm-​ \ noun

Examples of encompass in a Sentence

The district encompasses most of the downtown area. a neighborhood encompassed by a highway

Recent Examples on the Web

Out in early January, her designs seem to encompass a range of styes, including seriously comfy (and cute) athleisure. Tess Kornfeld, Glamour, "Gabrielle Union Just Clapped Back at a Troll Telling Her to 'Dress Her Age'," 29 Dec. 2018 Indeed, Google’s real estate empire in the city is expected to encompass nearly 7 million square feet of owned or leased office space, enough for more than 46,000 total employees, based on the industry standard of 150 square feet per employee. Douglas Macmillan, WSJ, "Google Details Major New York Expansion," 17 Dec. 2018 Authorities have used this method to plot circles around the plane's trajectory at the time of each handshake—a kind of net believed to encompass where on the globe the plane might have plunged. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "New Research Might Locate Flight MH370—And Solve One of the Greatest Aviation Mysteries of All Time," 7 Dec. 2018 Geisel’s slim 1971 book for kids — written during the late, great author’s longtime residency in La Jolla — and expanded it to encompass a whole universe of back story. James Hebert, sandiegouniontribune.com, "At Old Globe, 'The Lorax' brings Dr. Seuss' environmental saga to vivid life," 8 July 2018 Even if North Korea is willing to cooperate, dismantling its secretive weapons of mass destruction programs, believed to encompass dozens of sites, will be tough. Matthew Pennington And Lolita C. Baldor, The Christian Science Monitor, "US wants North Korea denuclearized in a year, but concerns remain," 2 July 2018 The Trump administration has the ability to expand the statute to encompass the entire country and apply it to any noncitizen who has not been in the country for more than two years, Mr. Cox said. New York Times, "Trump Calls for Depriving Immigrants Who Illegally Cross Border of Due Process Rights," 24 June 2018 The current senior civil engineer on the project discovered the plans that went out to bid called for the required masonry retaining walls to encompass 1,320 square feet when the correct figure should have been 10,200 square feet, Manis said. Steve Dreyer, Pomerado News, "Espola Road pathway errors add $877K in costs," 21 June 2018 Footnotes *When the term colon cancer is used in this article, it is intended to encompass colorectal cancer - which includes both colon and rectal cancer. **5-year survival rate [1] Cleveland Clinic. Ashley Davidson, USA TODAY, "Why more than 70 pro golfers agreed to get screened for this deadly cancer," 12 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'encompass.' 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 encompass

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for encompass

Middle English

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Statistics for encompass

Last Updated

15 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for encompass

The first known use of encompass was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for encompass



English Language Learners Definition of encompass

: to include (something) as a part

: to cover or surround (an area)


en·​com·​pass | \ in-ˈkəm-pəs \
encompassed; encompassing

Kids Definition of encompass

1 : to cover or surround : encircle Mountains encompass the peaceful valley.
2 : include The subject of social studies encompasses history, civics, and geography.

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Comments on encompass

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


a complex dispute or argument

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