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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.
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 encircling
  • encircling it is another disk, composed mostly of hydrogen gas, detectable by radio telescopes.
  • But a new study of optical images has failed to detect any signs of structures encircling the natural satellite.
  • She's leaning against the low stone wall encircling the lighthouse.
  • Challenger's handler crossed the majestic set to center stage, with the national bird's impressive talons encircling his arm.
  • Lizard tail vertebrae have a perforated fracture plane encircling the bone.
  • For example, distorted images revealed shallow moats encircling previously detected volcanic features called coronae.
  • The snake is perfectly posed, with its head resting atop a coil and its body encircling a crushed egg.
  • Rather, he must constantly pull himself together as a human being, and this compulsion encircling him redounds to his advantage.
  • Down the hill from the cemetery is a granite table, a bench encircling it.
  • Disk-shaped spiral galaxies appear, both edge- and face-on, showing a defined structure of arms encircling their central bulges.
British Dictionary definitions for encircling


(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 encircling



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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