engulf

verb
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

Synonyms

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

Antonyms

drain

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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

Aoki created a vibe that seemed to engulf everyone. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Summerfest 2019: Steve Aoki, Hanson and the best and the worst on the side stages on opening day," 27 June 2019 The despair that has threatened to engulf conservatives in the Capitol is being abated by the fierce opposition to HB 2020. Guest Opinion, oregonlive.com, "Opinion: House Democrats, beware of the weight of your power. It may come back to haunt you.," 14 Jan. 2019 In many shots, characters are framed in the center of a vast, looming environment that threatens to engulf them. Aja Romano, Vox, "Why Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Conformist still resonates today," 3 Dec. 2018 Amoebas, for example, change shape both to move and to engulf prey. Quanta Magazine, "Mongrel Microbe Tests Story of Complex Life," 29 Oct. 2015 Just two days later, as riots engulfed American cities, police shot and killed Bobby Hutton in Oakland, California. Eric Ginsburg, Teen Vogue, "How April 1968 Changed the United States Forever," 19 Apr. 2019 Police officers and bystanders also helped with rescues, and firefighters helped some residents down on ladders as flames engulfed the top floor and attic space. Michael Brice-saddler, The Seattle Times, "Elderly man rescued after spending five days trapped in fire-damaged senior complex," 24 Sep. 2018 His father woke him up when a fire engulfed a building behind the church. NBC News, "'I never forget': How this Normandy town remembers the American sacrifice at D-Day 75 years on," 5 June 2019 The calamity engulfing generic-drug stocks has many causes, but they are all made worse by one simple malady: too much debt. Charley Grant, WSJ, "These Drug Companies Are Too Frail to Cure," 2 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

9 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for engulf

The first known use of engulf was in 1555

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More Definitions for engulf

engulf

verb

English Language Learners Definition of engulf

: to flow over and cover (someone or something)

engulf

verb
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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