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


deluge, drown, flood, gulf, inundate, overflow, overwhelm, submerge, submerse, swamp



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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

Trump tweeted out a video that included Omar's remarks repeated along with ominous music, all played over images of the World Trade Center engulfed in flames with New Yorkers running for safety. Jason Lalljee, USA TODAY, "'Send her back' Trump rally chant heightens calls for increased security for Rep. Omar," 18 July 2019 In the latest drone video released by police, the big reveal initially goes as planned, with celebrating guests filming as the car drives down a road, engulfed in blue smoke. Emily Dixon, CNN, "Australian gender reveal party goes wrong as car bursts into flames," 9 July 2019 The father attempted to drive away, but the car became engulfed in flames. Robyn Merrett, PEOPLE.com, "2 Toddlers Fight for Their Lives After Fireworks Ignite Inside Car During Road Rage Shooting," 5 July 2019 Her family loved watching people battle with swords engulfed in flames on the bed of a truck that cruised by in a cloud of smoke. Anna Bauman, Detroit Free Press, "Independence Day parade fosters culture, family in Ann Arbor," 4 July 2019 Pictures and video of the scene showed the bus engulfed in flames. Jack Mccordick, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee County Transit System bus is engulfed in flames, but no passengers were injured," 4 July 2019 But within an hour, the owner saw a flash in a rear parking area and then the trash barrel engulfed in flames, Barkas said. Jeremy C. Fox, BostonGlobe.com, "Quincy man held without bail after Molotov cocktail incident," 1 July 2019 On the screens behind her were crawling insects, a baby doll engulfed in flames, gloomy silhouettes of barren trees. Jon Caramanica, New York Times, "Ariana Grande Was Updating Pop. Then Billie Eilish Came Along.," 21 June 2019 As well as becoming desensitized to Trump, there's also a sense that Britain is engulfed in so much chaos of its own that the visiting president was more of a sideshow. NBC News, "Trump's U.K. visit had its thrills and spills but not the drama some expected," 6 June 2019

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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Statistics for engulf

Last Updated

23 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for engulf

The first known use of engulf was in 1555

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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

Comments on engulf

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something desired as essential

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