encroach

verb
en·​croach | \ in-ˈkrōch How to pronounce encroach (audio) , en- \
encroached; encroaching; encroaches

Definition of encroach

intransitive verb

1 : to enter by gradual steps or by stealth into the possessions or rights of another
2 : to advance beyond the usual or proper limits the gradually encroaching sea

Other Words from encroach

encroacher noun
encroachment \ in-​ˈkrōch-​mənt How to pronounce encroach (audio) , en \ noun

Synonyms for encroach

Synonyms

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trespass, encroach, infringe, invade mean to make inroads upon the property, territory, or rights of another. trespass implies an unwarranted or unlawful intrusion. hunters trespassing on farmland encroach suggests gradual or stealthy entrance upon another's territory or usurpation of another's rights or possessions. the encroaching settlers displacing the native peoples infringe implies an encroachment clearly violating a right or prerogative. infringing a copyright invade implies a hostile and injurious entry into the territory or sphere of another. accused of invading their privacy

Did you know?

The history behind encroach is likely to hook you in. The word derives from the Middle English encrochen, which means "to get or seize." The Anglo-French predecessor of encrochen is encrocher, which was formed by combining the prefix en- ("in") with the noun croche ("hook"). Croche also gave us our word crochet, in reference to the hooked needle used in that craft. Encroach carries the meaning of "intrude," both in terms of privilege or property. The word can also hop over legal barriers to describe a general advancement beyond desirable or normal limits (such as a hurricane that encroaches on the mainland).

Examples of encroach in a Sentence

The suburbs encroach further into the rural areas each year. each year the sea continues to encroach upon the island's beaches
Recent Examples on the Web Starting in the 1930s, city development began to encroach on Fourth Ward, despite its importance as a historic and cultural center, to make room for a new City Hall and the Gulf Freeway, among other projects. Lauren Mcdowell, Chron, 28 Apr. 2022 And soon, dozens of offshore wind turbines - part of President Joe Biden’s clean energy agenda - will encroach their habitat as the administration tries to balance tackling global warming with protecting wildlife. Dino Grandoni, Anchorage Daily News, 22 Apr. 2022 An upcoming expansion of the Interstate 77-Miller Road interchange, which borders Maple Crest to the east, will encroach upon the property. Bob Sandrick, cleveland, 21 Mar. 2022 Malaria is another illness that could encroach on Australia, Inglis said. Washington Post, 14 Apr. 2022 Malaria is another illness that could encroach on Australia, Inglis said. Frances Vinall, Anchorage Daily News, 14 Apr. 2022 Eastern Europe Exactly 30 years after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia is maneuvering to encroach further into Ukraine, one of its former republics. Zachary B. Wolf, CNN, 25 Jan. 2022 Feuds erupted over hairdressers—especially when Ruth Ogden Mills dared to encroach on the appointment of a woman named Mrs. Cutting. Elise Taylor, Vogue, 22 Mar. 2022 The clearing of woodlands for agriculture and wood production is also expected to reduce habitat and urban sprawl and development are expected to further encroach into what little habitat is left and diminish connectivity in southern Arizona. Lindsey Botts, The Arizona Republic, 20 Feb. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'encroach.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of encroach

1528, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for encroach

Middle English encrochen to get, seize, from Anglo-French encrocher, from en- + croc, croche hook — more at crochet

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Time Traveler for encroach

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The first known use of encroach was in 1528

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Dictionary Entries Near encroach

encrinus

encroach

encrust

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Last Updated

6 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Encroach.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/encroach. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for encroach

encroach

verb
en·​croach | \ in-ˈkrōch How to pronounce encroach (audio) \
encroached; encroaching

Kids Definition of encroach

1 : to take over the rights or property of another little by little or in secret The prince encroached on the king's authority.
2 : to go beyond the usual or proper limits Cities have encroached upon wildlife habitats.

encroach

intransitive verb
en·​croach | \ in-ˈkrōch How to pronounce encroach (audio) \

Legal Definition of encroach

: to enter especially gradually or stealthily into the possessions or rights of another encroaches on an adjoining property

History and Etymology for encroach

Anglo-French encrocher, probably alteration of acrocher to catch hold of, seize, usurp, from Old French, from a-, prefix stressing goal + croc hook

More from Merriam-Webster on encroach

Nglish: Translation of encroach for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of encroach for Arabic Speakers

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