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

Other Words from engulf

engulfment \ in-​ˈgəlf-​mənt How to pronounce engulf (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 The smaller pieces draw you in close and tight to the work, while the larger works engulf you and require a step back to fully appreciate. Lisa Deaderick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 Apr. 2022 Family duty sends a lawman to London to look for his mob-assassin brother as a yakuza war threatens to engulf Tokyo. Andy Meek, BGR, 9 Sep. 2021 Fire engines have till now failed to put it out as toxic fumes engulf the area surrounding the Bhalswa landfill. Manavi Kapur, Quartz, 29 Apr. 2022 The inquiry has grown to engulf some of the most contentious aspects of the campaign between Trump and Hillary Clinton. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, 17 Mar. 2022 With that in mind, the San Antonio Fire Department, in partnership with USAA, demonstrated Monday how a dry Christmas tree can ignite and engulf a living room in flames in seconds. Taylor Pettaway, San Antonio Express-News, 6 Dec. 2021 Danske Bank A/S in 2018 became the face of a money-laundering scandal that grew to engulf the entire Nordic region. Dylan Tokar, WSJ, 3 Jan. 2022 The procedural dispute threatens to engulf the merits of the question. Jeff Amy, ajc, 11 Nov. 2021 The war that has killed thousands of people and displaced millions since November 2020 threatens to engulf Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa. BostonGlobe.com, 4 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of engulf

1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Engulf.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/engulf. Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for engulf


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on engulf

Nglish: Translation of engulf for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of engulf for Arabic Speakers


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