Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang


[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
First recorded in 1545-55; en-1 + compass
Related forms
encompassment, noun
unencompassed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for encompassing
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She was always there, encompassing him with her breath, reminding him that he was hers.

    His Masterpiece Emile Zola
  • Her emotions began to take control when faced with his encompassing desire.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • All the hopes and desires of the autumn smote him with encompassing blows.

    Michael E. F. Benson
  • Its encompassing obsession is freedom, or at least the appearance of freedom.

  • The race that built the factories and developed the encompassing farms.

    The Servant Problem Robert F. Young
British Dictionary definitions for encompassing


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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for encompassing



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for encompass

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for encompassing

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for encompassing