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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A ludicrously insufficient force was attempting to encircle a larger and better equipped one.

    Sir John French Cecil Chisholm
  • Three times did he repeat this song, and as often did he encircle the post in his dance.

    The Last of the Mohicans James Fenimore Cooper
  • And indeed I was to make an Australian voyage and encircle the globe before ever entering a London hansom.

  • encircle this ragout with the fried cutlets, and crown with a cauliflower.

    Culture and Cooking Catherine Owen
  • The eyelet holes for the clews should be so made that each clew may encircle the stretcher in its canvas pipe and tie round it.

  • He leant forward, and one arm reached out to encircle her waist.

  • It commands a sweeping view of the sea, and the hills that encircle the city.

    Zigzag Journeys in Europe Hezekiah Butterworth
  • Gloom did encircle him, but in the midst of it there was a light, which he strove and craved to follow.

    The Arena Various
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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