en·​gulf | \ in-ˈgəlf How to pronounce engulf (audio) , en- \
engulfed; engulfing; engulfs

Definition of engulf

transitive verb

1 : to flow over and enclose : overwhelm the mounting seas threatened to engulf the island
2 : to take in (food) by or as if by flowing over and enclosing

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Other Words from engulf

engulfment \ in-​ˈgəlf-​mənt How to pronounce engulfment (audio) , en-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for engulf



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Examples of engulf in a Sentence

The valley was engulfed in a thick fog. high waves from the hurricane engulfed large areas of the coastal community
Recent Examples on the Web Interferon also beckons cells such as macrophages in the bloodstream that can engulf virus particles. Mark Fischetti, Scientific American, "Support Science Journalism," 23 June 2020 Los Angeles police officers are pushing back against Mayor Eric Garcetti's proposal to cut $250 million from the city's budget as protests that have morphed into riots engulf the city. Spencer Neale, Washington Examiner, "'You bowed down to Black Lives Matter': LAPD officers berate Democratic councilwoman amid budget cut proposal," 6 June 2020 Fields said to the driver of a silver BMW, whose car quickly became engulfed by the crowd. Christopher Maag, USA TODAY, "A leader of a New York City march got arrested. Here's how the protest unfolded.," 3 June 2020 The Target store on Lake Street in Minneapolis, near where Floyd died, was engulfed by unrest, badly damaged, and looted last week. BostonGlobe.com, "Target temporarily closing 200 stores, Amazon restricting deliveries amid unrest," 31 May 2020 In coronavirus crisis, our humanity saves us More: Legislative leaders at odds over extending Gov. Whitmer's emergency declaration The house was fully engulfed by the fire when crews arrived on the scene, according to police. Meredith Spelbring, Detroit Free Press, "House fire in Shelby Township leaves 1 dead," 5 Apr. 2020 The ramp from Interstate 275 to Mosteller Road was closed by high water, and an underpass on Glendale Milford Road saw water deep enough to engulf a vehicle that tried to drive through. Cameron Knight, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati weather: Flooding leads to business evacuations, rescues in West Chester," 19 May 2020 The effort during recent days to find and move the rhinos—which has been complicated by floodwaters that have engulfed area roads—comes after a surge of rhino killings by poachers in March that left at least six animals dead. Dina Fine Maron, National Geographic, "Botswana is evacuating black rhinos amid poaching threat," 1 May 2020 As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to engulf U.S. health care systems, the time for community Covid-19 management systems is now. Janice John, STAT, "Our hospital’s community management strategy for Covid-19 works. Yours can, too," 23 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'engulf.' 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 engulf

1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for engulf

Time Traveler

The first known use of engulf was in 1555

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Statistics for engulf

Last Updated

4 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Engulf.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/engulf. Accessed 6 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for engulf


How to pronounce engulf (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of engulf

: to flow over and cover (someone or something)


en·​gulf | \ in-ˈgəlf How to pronounce engulf (audio) \
engulfed; engulfing

Kids Definition of engulf

1 : to flow over and cover or surround The town was engulfed by the flood.
2 : to be overwhelmed by He was engulfed by fear.

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More from Merriam-Webster on engulf

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for engulf

Spanish Central: Translation of engulf

Nglish: Translation of engulf for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of engulf for Arabic Speakers

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