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

Keep scrolling for more

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

But our budget doesn’t just encompass a list of our household expenses. Michelle Singletary, Washington Post, "It’s still crucial to budget, even when your money meets your needs," 25 June 2019 The threat encompasses an area with a population of 1.7 million people and 24 hospitals, the NWS said. Kirk Mitchell, The Denver Post, "Severe thunderstorm watch for southern Denver metro includes threat of lime-sized hail, possible tornadoes," 21 June 2019 And the enormous size of Facebook's user base—more than a quarter of the globe's population — means that even that small fraction could encompass many people. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, "Why Facebook is launching its own currency," 18 June 2019 Fresenius said the agreement in principle encompasses the terms understood to be necessary for settlement, but that the deal remains subject to final approval from the company and government officials. Samuel Rubenfeld, WSJ, "German Dialysis Firm Reaches Agreement in Bribery Probe," 25 Feb. 2019 But some experts are concerned that these targets may not encompass all the risks associated with climate change. Chelsea Harvey, Scientific American, "CO2 Can Directly Impact Extreme Weather, Research Suggests," 21 June 2018 That request encompasses 832 emails, which amounts to 5,100 pages of text, repetitive content and extraneous metadata, Morris said. Emily K. Coleman, Lake County News-Sun, "Lake County Lines: Hunt on for retail options at proposed North Chicago development," 17 June 2018 On that note, keep in mind that your medical history also encompasses that of your family, given the genetic component to so many health issues. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Primary Care Doctors Share 9 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Annual Checkup," 31 May 2018 In The Press, Chris Macias has an all-encompassing guide to this summer’s best winery concerts. Esther Mobley, SFChronicle.com, "Do we drink the same wine that the Romans drank? Not quite," 13 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.

See More

First Known Use of encompass

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for encompass

Middle English

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about encompass

Statistics for encompass

Last Updated

2 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for encompass

The first known use of encompass was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


a small bunch of flowers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!