en·​com·​pass | \ in-ˈkəm-pəs How to pronounce encompass (audio) , 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 How to pronounce encompassment (audio) , 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

Her journey through life encompassed her residing in Hartford, Wethersfield, Windsor, Simsbury, Mount Vernon Maine, Suffield and then back to Windsor to be close to her family. courant.com, "Ruth Thulen," 22 Aug. 2019 The survey encompassed over 2,500 American adults online in July with figures weighted to be representative of all U.S. adults. Bloomberg News, cleveland.com, "Americans say they can’t afford a vacation," 14 Aug. 2019 Its new service area, which doubles Via’s previous range, encompasses the whole city, plus Evanston, Norridge and Harwood Heights, said Alex Lavoie, Via’s global head of consumer. Mary Wisniewski, chicagotribune.com, "Via rideshare expands to entire city; offers $2.50 rides to and from transit stops," 6 Aug. 2019 Officials said the shooting encompassed multiple locations around the 5100 block of Navajo Street in the Pleak community, just south of Rosenberg. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Two people dead, suspect wounded in shooting near Rosenberg," 30 July 2019 The measure encompassed the Violence Against Women Act and the last assault weapons ban, as well as a program to place 100,000 more police on the streets and money to build more prisons. Los Angeles Times, "Column: Farewell to Mark Kleiman, one of America’s great sages in public affairs," 29 July 2019 This is what Chastain believes her team’s magical run encompassed. Eric He, The Mercury News, "‘It belonged to everybody’ – 20 years later, Brandi Chastain reflects on World Cup title," 5 July 2019 The land, which once belonged to members of the Wampanoag, a Native American tribe, encompassed sand dunes and two freshwater ponds. Katherine Clarke, WSJ, "Jackie O’s Compound on Martha’s Vineyard Hits Market for $65 Million," 27 June 2019 To put it in perspective, the fire encompassed an area of canyons and ridges about half the size of the Seattle city limits. Erik Lacitis, The Seattle Times, "Grant County wildfire contained; show unaffected at Gorge for Grateful Dead fans," 8 June 2019

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

27 Aug 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 How to pronounce encompass (audio) \
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).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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