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90s Slang You Should Know


[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.
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Examples from the Web for encircle
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A ludicrously insufficient force was attempting to encircle a larger and better equipped one.

    Sir John French Cecil Chisholm
  • That is why it took them until almost dinner-time to encircle the island.

    Ruth Fielding At College Alice B. Emerson
  • And indeed I was to make an Australian voyage and encircle the globe before ever entering a London hansom.

  • When done, they returned to encircle their victim again, lick their chops, and wait.

    The Buffalo Runners R.M. Ballantyne
  • The eyelet holes for the clews should be so made that each clew may encircle the stretcher in its canvas pipe and tie round it.

  • The Alps encircle it, and in the distance rise the Euganean Hills.

    Browning's Heroines Ethel Colburn Mayne
  • It commands a sweeping view of the sea, and the hills that encircle the city.

    Zigzag Journeys in Europe Hezekiah Butterworth
  • 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
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
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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
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