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 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 Roth remembers watching the flames engulf the house when her father, an amateur photographer, asked her to smile. BostonGlobe.com, "The world knows her as ‘disaster girl.’ She sold an NFT of her meme for $500,000," 29 Apr. 2021 On April 20, the jury found Chauvin guilty on all three murder and manslaughter counts, sending him to the state's most secure lockdown facility to await sentencing, and avoiding the riots many feared could engulf the city once again. Andy Mannix, Star Tribune, "Feds plan to indict Chauvin, other three ex-officers on civil rights charges," 28 Apr. 2021 Specifically, Martian dust storms regularly rock the planet and some can even engulf the entire world. Mike Wehner, BGR, "Feast your eyes on the most incredible video from Mars you’ll ever see," 19 Apr. 2021 The programming emphasized experiences that sprawl beyond conventional time frames and engulf the consciousness. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, "The Sonic Extremes of the MaerzMusik Festival," 12 Apr. 2021 Thursday’s settlement adds considerably to the amount the private Los Angeles university will pay to resolve the scandal, one of several to engulf it in recent years. Sara Randazzo, WSJ, "USC Settles Sex-Abuse Claims Against Campus Gynecologist for $852 Million," 26 Mar. 2021 The angry colony used his rope as a conduit to engulf him. Daniel Glick, Scientific American, "Can the Amazon Save the Planet?," 3 Apr. 2017 Last summer politicians were quick to assume that the coronavirus had been squashed, only for a second wave to engulf much of Europe and North America in the autumn. The Economist, "Daily chart Covid-19 cases are rising again in much of the world," 19 Mar. 2021 The father of an intrepid youngster prepares her for the end of the world, when melting ice caps release fearsome beasts, called aurochs, and rising flood waters threaten to engulf their Delta home. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: ‘My Fair Lady’; ‘Marry Poppins’," 19 Mar. 2021

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

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Engulf.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/engulf. Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for engulf



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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