encroach

as in to invade
to advance gradually beyond the usual or desirable limits each year the sea continues to encroach upon the island's beaches

Synonyms & Similar Words

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How does the verb encroach differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of encroach are infringe, invade, and trespass. While all these words mean "to make inroads upon the property, territory, or rights of another," encroach suggests gradual or stealthy entrance upon another's territory or usurpation of another's rights or possessions.

the encroaching settlers displacing the native peoples

Where would infringe be a reasonable alternative to encroach?

The words infringe and encroach are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, infringe implies an encroachment clearly violating a right or prerogative.

infringing a copyright

When can invade be used instead of encroach?

The words invade and encroach can be used in similar contexts, but invade implies a hostile and injurious entry into the territory or sphere of another.

accused of invading their privacy

When could trespass be used to replace encroach?

While the synonyms trespass and encroach are close in meaning, trespass implies an unwarranted or unlawful intrusion.

hunters trespassing on farmland

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Cite this Entry

“Encroach.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/encroach. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

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