Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang


[en-sur-kuh l] /ɛnˈsɜr kəl/
verb (used with object), encircled, encircling.
to form a circle around; surround; encompass:
to encircle an enemy.
to make a circling movement around; make the circuit of.
Origin of encircle
Middle English word dating back to 1350-1400; See origin at en-1, circle
Related forms
encirclement, noun
unencircled, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for encircle
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Three times did he repeat this song, and as often did he encircle the post in his dance.

    The Last of the Mohicans James Fenimore Cooper
  • encircle this ragout with the fried cutlets, and crown with a cauliflower.

    Culture and Cooking Catherine Owen
  • What he did was to encircle our city with an amulet of saving virtue.

    The Memorabilia Xenophon
  • He leant forward, and one arm reached out to encircle her waist.

  • Gloom did encircle him, but in the midst of it there was a light, which he strove and craved to follow.

    The Arena Various
  • Frantically she tried to encircle him with her arms, but Herrick repulsed her.

    Possessed Cleveland Moffett
  • The grasping portion of it could only encircle the tiniest twigs.

    "Wee Tim'rous Beasties" Douglas English
  • She looked at this man, and a suffocating band seemed to encircle her throat.

    Wayside Courtships Hamlin Garland
British Dictionary definitions for encircle


(transitive) to form a circle around; enclose within a circle; surround
Derived Forms
encirclement, noun
encircling, adjective
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 encircle

c.1400, from en- (1) "make, put in" + circle. Related: Encircled; encircling; encirclement.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for encircle

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for encircle

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for encircle