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

Synonyms & Antonyms for encompass


carry, comprehend, contain, embrace, entail, include, involve, number, subsume, take in


exclude, leave (out), miss out [British], omit

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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

Easiest to understand is this: Camp encompasses everything and anything that is considered by most to be naturally humorous, ridiculous, or profane in our collective culture. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "A Met Gala Is Born! Lady Gaga, Harry Styles, and Serena Williams Will Cochair Fashion’s Biggest Night in 2019—Here’s What It Means," 12 Oct. 2018 With the new positioning of the Yoga brand, its bend-and-flex name doesn't just encompass two-in-ones. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Lenovo’s new Yoga C930 hides a sound bar in its hinge, a stylus in its corner," 30 Aug. 2018 Strongheart Manor, as the 1902 property is known, encompasses 6.3 acres on the peninsula of North Haven. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "How Much Is Matt Lauer Worth?," 15 Aug. 2018 The bundle, which would charge customers between $5 to $8 dollars per month, would encompass all of Discovery’s networks — including the Food Network, HGTV, TLC, and more. Shoshana Wodinsky, The Verge, "Discovery might bundle HGTV, the Food Network, and more into a new streaming service," 27 July 2018 The overall epidemic spread to encompass nearly 29,000 cases and 11,300 deaths, according to CDC. Thomas M. Burton, WSJ, "U.S. Pulls Ebola Experts From Congo Combat Zones," 14 Nov. 2018 But that hardly encompasses the city's entire coffee culture; the coffee shop scene in Thailand overall is nothing to scoff at. Katie Lockhart, Condé Nast Traveler, "11 Best Places For Coffee in Bangkok," 18 Oct. 2018 The new state of Northern California would encompass everything from Santa Cruz north, including the Bay Area and Sacramento. Melody Gutierrez, SFChronicle.com, "Gas taxes, cage-free chickens and a chopped-up California top fall ballot," 3 July 2018 While the all-encompassing dust might blot out the sun, that swirling dust also absorbs heat. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "NASA's Opportunity Rover Is Heroically Riding Out an Enormous Martian Storm," 11 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

19 Nov 2018

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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