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[en-sur-kuh l] /ɛnˈsɜr kəl/
verb (used with object), encircled, encircling.
to form a circle around; surround; encompass:
to encircle an enemy.
to make a circling movement around; make the circuit of.
Origin of encircle
1350-1400; Middle English; see en-1, circle
Related forms
encirclement, noun
unencircled, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for encircle
  • Dozens of sculptures with fierce faces encircle the structure and dozens more are part of the structure itself.
  • He thinks of the grad students who encircle the biggest celebrity at every reception.
  • To keep ants from reaching their goal, encircle tree trunks with sticky bands for several weeks.
  • The innermost fibers encircle the lower end of the urethra.
  • But the cottages that encircle the inn are ten times more romantic.
  • encircle an area around the student with the string.
  • It could start in the countryside and then go on to encircle the cities.
  • Six flames encircle the roof, each capable of throwing frighteningly loud, hot fireball bursts.
  • All the debris that would be kicked up into the atmosphere would probably encircle the globe.
  • There are jogging and cycling paths that encircle the lake.
British Dictionary definitions for encircle


(transitive) to form a circle around; enclose within a circle; surround
Derived Forms
encirclement, noun
encircling, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for encircle

c.1400, from en- (1) "make, put in" + circle. Related: Encircled; encircling; encirclement.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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