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[en-vahy-ruh nz, -vahy-ernz, en-ver-uh nz, -vahy-ernz] /ɛnˈvaɪ rənz, -ˈvaɪ ərnz, ˈɛn vər ənz, -vaɪ ərnz/
plural noun
the surrounding parts or districts, as of a city; outskirts; suburbs.
surrounding objects; surroundings; environment.
an area or space close by; vicinity.
Origin of environs
1655-65; < French (plural); replacing Middle English environ < Old French, noun use of environ around; see environ


[en-vahy-ruh n, -vahy-ern] /ɛnˈvaɪ rən, -ˈvaɪ ərn/
verb (used with object)
to form a circle or ring round; surround; envelop:
a house environed by pleasant grounds; to be environed by bad influences.
1300-50; Middle English envirounen < Old French environner, derivative of environ around (en en-1 + viron a circle; vir(er) to turn, veer + -on noun suffix)
Related forms
unenvironed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for environs
  • The health effects of poor quality coal can cause numerous respiratory issues in environs near a coal plant.
  • Such can be perpetrated in families and/or derelict social environs.
  • Most of my peers in the suburban environs were probably eligible.
  • With its local merchants frantically ringing up their cash registers as hordes of tourists invaded their environs.
  • Capybaras are physically well adjusted to their watery environs.
  • Today the city and its environs appear to be a post-poppy success story.
  • Elk are frequently seen in the town's environs, and visitors can hike, rock climb and kayak in the area.
  • The spooky precincts of the villains are, as usual, more fun than the wholesome environs.
  • The brown, dusty environs look familiar and not, dotted with abandoned cars and the occasional corpse.
  • Call quality was impressive, and voices rang true even in noisy environs.
British Dictionary definitions for environs


plural noun
a surrounding area or region, esp the suburbs or outskirts of a town or city; vicinity


(transitive) to encircle or surround
Word Origin
C14: from Old French environner to surround, from environ around, from en-1 + viron a circle, from virer to turn, veer1
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 environs

"outskirts," 1660s, from French environs, plural of Old French environ "compass, circuit," from environ (adv.) "around, round about" (see environ).



late 14c. (implied in environing), "to surround," from Old French environer "to surround, enclose, encircle," from environ "round about," from en- "in" (see en- (1)) + viron "circle, circuit," from virer "to turn" (see veer). Related: Environed.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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