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[en-kuhm-puh s] /ɛnˈkʌm pəs/
verb (used with object)
to form a circle about; encircle; surround:
He built a moat to encompass the castle.
to enclose; envelop:
The folds of a great cloak encompassed her person.
to include comprehensively:
a work that encompasses the entire range of the world's religious beliefs.
Obsolete. to outwit.
Origin of encompass
1545-55; en-1 + compass
Related forms
encompassment, noun
unencompassed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for encompassed
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • At dinner they sat down to a dish that a hungry schoolboy could have encompassed at a gulp.

  • Henceforth flight was impossible; the Indians had encompassed the island.

    Wood Rangers Mayne Reid
  • Nor is it alone the levities of Europe which have encompassed with a gaseous atmosphere of enthusiasm these idols of the day.

  • That is how the soul looks to us now encompassed by all her evils.

  • The smiles that encompassed him seemed to him like mere grimacing.

    The Nabob, Volume 1 (of 2) Alphonse Daudet
  • Through the clouds which encompassed him the faint promise of a rift was apparent.

    Sundry Accounts Irvin S. Cobb
  • He gave no sign of the struggle within him—the doubt that encompassed him.

    Max Katherine Cecil Thurston
British Dictionary definitions for encompassed


verb (transitive)
to enclose within a circle; surround
to bring about; cause to happen; contrive: he encompassed the enemy's ruin
to include entirely or comprehensively: this book encompasses the whole range of knowledge
Derived Forms
encompassment, 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 encompassed



1550s, from en- (1) "make, put in" + compass. Related: Encompassed; encompasses; encompassing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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