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

The Rio Grande City station's area of responsibility encompasses about 1,220 square miles of Starr County, Texas, including 68 miles of international border, the agency's website explains. Susan Scutti, CNN, "A US Border Patrol boat on the Rio Grande takes fire from the Mexican side," 9 Aug. 2019 As the fortunate current stewards of the Sutor house, Pietro Belluschi’s first commissioned home, we are continually inspired by the way his design encompasses nature in all seasons. Janet Eastman, oregonlive.com, "Celebrating architect Pietro Belluschi’s 120th anniversary: Building tours, book talk and dinner in his home," 8 Aug. 2019 Diversity for me is a spectrum and encompasses the multiple identities whether its ability, gender identity, color, race, ethnicity, spirituality, etc. Darcel Rockett, chicagotribune.com, "Reel Abilities Film Festival: Diversity includes disability too," 8 Aug. 2019 The mission and vision that the school encompasses about personalization is one that is very near and dear to my heart. San Diego Union-Tribune, "New principal named at Otay area charter school," 7 Aug. 2019 Representative Veronica Escobar, whose district encompasses El Paso, spoke first. Charles Bethea, The New Yorker, "“He Won’t Be Welcome Until He Repents”: El Pasoans Ask Trump to Stay Away," 6 Aug. 2019 What this fluid religious reality generally encompasses is faith in an activist God whose power can be experienced through miracles, prophecy and speaking spontaneously in unfamiliar tongues. Erasmus, The Economist, "Why charismatic Christianity is popular with migrants," 3 Aug. 2019 Life Flight's service area extends far beyond that, encompassing a 150-mile radius around Houston. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "As Life Flight celebrates 43 years in Houston, a look at emergency response vehicles from the past," 2 Aug. 2019 All of these create a playing field that is tilted in favor of an all-encompassing single parent company, limiting users’ choices and making switching difficult. Bhaskar Chakravorti, The Conversation, "Why Facebook’s new ‘privacy cop’ is doomed to fail," 29 July 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

13 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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of or relating to the heavens

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