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[en-guhlf] /ɛnˈgʌlf/
verb (used with object)
to swallow up in or as in a gulf; submerge:
The overflowing river has engulfed many small towns along its banks.
to plunge or immerse, as into a gulf:
He engulfed himself in his studies.
Also, ingulf.
1545-55; en-1 + gulf
Related forms
engulfment, noun
1. envelop, bury, inundate, deluge, swamp. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for engulfed
  • The nation is currently engulfed in a huge nursing shortage, which is going to get worse.
  • The spectators are so engulfed in the experience and probably feel as if they are participants.
  • Raw, engulfed with vines and plants, towering all around me.
  • It doesn't take long before rooms are engulfed with trains running hither and yon.
  • It remains to be seen whether these moves will help stem the bloodshed that has engulfed the region.
  • Pictures of basted seabirds and gasping turtles have engulfed the media.
  • The virus sinks into the cell until it is completely engulfed.
  • And, this summer, a vast and spectacular jellyfish almost engulfed a barley field.
  • Up to the present nine bodies have been recovered from the chasms in which they were engulfed.
  • Too engulfed in consuming cocaine, heroin and other drugs.
British Dictionary definitions for engulfed


verb (transitive)
to immerse, plunge, bury, or swallow up
(often passive) to overwhelm: engulfed by debts
Derived Forms
engulfment, 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
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Word Origin and History for engulfed



1550s, from en- (1) "make, put in" + gulf. Related: Engulfed; engulfing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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