Try Our Apps


Supposedly vs. Supposably


[en-kuhm-puh s] /ɛnˈkʌm pəs/
verb (used with object)
to form a circle about; encircle; surround:
He built a moat to encompass the castle.
to enclose; envelop:
The folds of a great cloak encompassed her person.
to include comprehensively:
a work that encompasses the entire range of the world's religious beliefs.
Obsolete. to outwit.
Origin of encompass
1545-55; en-1 + compass
Related forms
encompassment, noun
unencompassed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for encompassing
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I beheld Miller Gorse sitting impassive, with his encompassing stare, the strongest man of them all.

    A Far Country, Complete Winston Churchill
  • Its encompassing obsession is freedom, or at least the appearance of freedom.

  • Such a cube and encompassing building constitute a "hall" in the Erie County Penitentiary.

    The Road Jack London
  • The race that built the factories and developed the encompassing farms.

    The Servant Problem Robert F. Young
  • I have another well-laid plan for encompassing that young shrimp.

    Right Ho, Jeeves P. G. Wodehouse
British Dictionary definitions for encompassing


verb (transitive)
to enclose within a circle; surround
to bring about; cause to happen; contrive: he encompassed the enemy's ruin
to include entirely or comprehensively: this book encompasses the whole range of knowledge
Derived Forms
encompassment, noun
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for encompassing



1550s, from en- (1) "make, put in" + compass. Related: Encompassed; encompasses; encompassing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for encompass

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for encompassing

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for encompassing