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

The European arc essentially goes up through Portugal and Spain, through a small part of France, encompasses all of the United Kingdom, and then continues on into the Scandinavian countries. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "Everything To Know About the January 2019 Lunar Eclipse," 12 Oct. 2018 This strongly Hispanic South Florida district was created in 2012 and encompasses most of southern Miami-Dade County, Key West and all three of Florida's national parks. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Will a justice delayed be a justice denied?," 19 Sep. 2018 The 30-person company collected about 2 tons of plastic last year, and its line encompasses more than 300 items. Rodrigo Orihuela, Bloomberg.com, "How Spain Got Its Swagger Back," 19 June 2018 Leg two of the Pray for the Wicked tour will begin January 10, 2019, and encompass 28 cities from Buffalo, New York, to San Diego, California. Shanté Honeycutt, Billboard, "Panic! at the Disco Announce Additional Pray for the Wicked Tour Dates, Including International Shows," 13 June 2018 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

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

3 Dec 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).


to enclose within walls

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