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[en-grohs] /ɛnˈgroʊs/
verb (used with object)
to occupy completely, as the mind or attention; absorb:
Their discussion engrossed his attention. She is engrossed in her work.
to write or copy in a clear, attractive, large script or in a formal manner, as a public document or record:
to engross a deed.
to acquire the whole of (a commodity), in order to control the market; monopolize.
Origin of engross
1275-1325; Middle English engros(s)en to gather in large quantities, draft (a will, etc.) in final form < Anglo-French engrosser, partly < Medieval Latin ingrossāre to thicken, write large and thick (Latin in- in-2 + gross(us) thick + -āre infinitive suffix); partly < Anglo-French, Middle French en gros in quantity, wholesale < Latin in + grossus; see gross
Related forms
[en-groh-sid-lee, -grohst-] /ɛnˈgroʊ sɪd li, -ˈgroʊst-/ (Show IPA),
engrosser, noun
reengross, verb (used with object)
self-engrossed, adjective
unengrossed, adjective
1. involve, immerse, engage. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for engross
Historical Examples
  • In the fall of the next year, she found that once again she had something to engross her outside Ansdore.

    Joanna Godden Sheila Kaye-Smith
  • He had matters on hand of greater moment to engross his attention.

    A Pirate of Parts Richard Neville
  • The tendency to engross the lowlands for large plantations was clear, here as elsewhere.

    The Frontier in American History Frederick Jackson Turner
  • Never, therefore, engross the whole conversation to yourself.

    The Young Man's Guide William A. Alcott
  • She's studying how to entertain these strangers, And to engross them to herself.

  • The novelty of the whole scene appeared for an instant to engross her attention.

    Imogen William Godwin
  • Happy is it for us, that but one place, and one set of circumstances, can engross our minds.

    I've Been Thinking; Azel Stevens Roe
  • Is it not rather for them a conspiracy to engross its advantages for the favoured few?

  • But when Sir Robert was employed at cards, all scruples ceasing, he neglected not to engross her almost wholly.

    Cecilia, Volume 1 (of 3) Frances Burney
  • Not that he took little interest in it, but it had no power to absorb and engross him.

    Barrington Charles James Lever
British Dictionary definitions for engross


verb (transitive)
to occupy one's attention completely; absorb
to write or copy (manuscript) in large legible handwriting
(law) to write or type out formally (a deed, agreement, or other document) preparatory to execution
another word for corner (sense 21b)
Derived Forms
engrossed, adjective
engrossedly (ɪnˈɡrəʊsɪdlɪ) adverb
engrosser, noun
Word Origin
C14 (in the sense: to buy up wholesale): from Old French en gros in quantity; C15 (in the sense: to write in large letters): probably from Medieval Latin ingrossāre; both from Latin grossus thick, gross
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 engross

c.1400, "to buy up the whole stock of" (in Anglo-French from c.1300), from Old French en gros "in bulk, in a large quantity, at wholesale," as opposed to en detail. See gross.

Figurative sense of "absorb the whole attention" is first attested 1709. A parallel engross, meaning "to write (something) in large letters," is from Anglo-French engrosser, from Old French en gros "in large (letters)." Related: Engrossed; engrossing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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