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

Underwood has now linked all 27 of her Country Airplay top 10s consecutively, encompassing all her country singles promoted to the format, excluding holiday fare. Jim Asker, Billboard, "Carrie Underwood Is Sitting 'Pretty' As She Links Her 27th Straight Country Airplay Top 10," 10 July 2018 In 1776 their vision of change encompassed not just America but Europe as well. Mark G. Spencer, WSJ, "‘Apostles of Revolution’ Review: The Birthday of a New World," 2 July 2018 Over a longer period of time, the biological impacts of both moderate exercise and less sitting would likely become broader and more encompassing. Gretchen Reynolds, New York Times, "Exercise vs. Standing? You Probably Need to Do Both," 13 June 2018 In fact, hereditary, and all that the word encompasses within the film, extends to Aster as well. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "Why 'Hereditary' Is Dividing Audiences," 10 June 2018 The three girls form a friendship that’s fierce, tender, and encompassing in the way only friendships between teenage girls can be. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "Picnic at Hanging Rock," 29 May 2018 Still, the extent of Frazier Thomas’ model rail creation, which the children’s television icon and onetime Wilmette resident built in the basement of his Greenwood Avenue home, clearly encompasses an entire tiny world within 30 feet. Kathy Routliffe, chicagotribune.com, "Miniature railroad world in Frazier Thomas' former Wilmette basement in need of a new home," 14 May 2018 The report was accompanied by the Democrats' dissenting minority views, encompassed in a 98-page document. Olivia Gazis, CBS News, "House Intelligence Committee Republicans find "no evidence" of Trump campaign collusion," 27 Apr. 2018 Transitioning from this emotionally encompassing piece into the austere, yet beautiful scores by Stravinsky seemed a natural progression, despite the generation that separates them, Tovey said. Lawrence Elizabeth Knox, Houston Chronicle, "Houston Symphony explores the music of Leonard Bernstein," 28 Mar. 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

10 Sep 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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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).


alleviating pain or harshness

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