"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[en-krohch] /ɛnˈkroʊtʃ/
verb (used without object)
to advance beyond proper, established, or usual limits; make gradual inroads:
A dictatorship of the majority is encroaching on the rights of the individual.
to trespass upon the property, domain, or rights of another, especially stealthily or by gradual advances.
Origin of encroach
1275-1325; Middle English encrochen < Anglo-French encrocher, Old French encrochier to catch hold of, seize, equivalent to en- en-1 + -crochier, verbal derivative of croc hook < Germanic; see crooked, crook
Related forms
encroacher, noun
unencroached, adjective
unencroaching, adjective
1, 2. See trespass. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for encroach
  • For years, he has watched it encroach from the shores that face the sound and the sea.
  • Opponents say the law will encroach on privacy and jeopardize civil liberties.
  • As a result, they sometimes encroach on territory private-equity firms consider their own.
  • They will not encroach on technology and medicine.
  • The city had hoped to use cameras mounted on the buses to catch cars that encroach in the special lanes.
  • Most recently, the largest technology companies have decided to encroach on each other's turf.
  • Not infrequently they are partially subdivided by indentations which encroach upon their margins.
  • They are fenced off from the fluid below, and do not encroach on the cup at the sides.
  • As more parts of the building are devoted to holding it up, they encroach on the space for working or living in.
  • The encroach of evil is slow and methodical, but it will not be denied.
British Dictionary definitions for encroach


verb (intransitive)
often foll by on or upon. to intrude gradually, stealthily, or insidiously upon the rights, property, etc, of another
to advance beyond the usual or proper limits
Derived Forms
encroacher, noun
encroachingly, adverb
encroachment, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French encrochier to seize, literally: fasten upon with hooks, from en-1 + croc hook, of Germanic origin; see crook
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 encroach

early 14c., "acquire, get," from Old French encrochier "seize, fasten on, hang on (to), cling (to); hang up, suspend," literally "to catch with a hook," from en- "in" (see en- (1)) + croc "hook," from Old Norse krokr "hook" (see crook). Meaning "seize wrongfully" is from c.1400. Sense of "trespass" is first recorded 1530s. Related: Encroached; encroaches; encroaching.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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