- to advance beyond proper, established, or usual limits; make gradual inroads: A dictatorship of the majority is encroaching on the rights of the individual.
- to trespass upon the property, domain, or rights of another, especially stealthily or by gradual advances.
Origin of encroach
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for encroached
The Obama administration argued that Kirk-Menendez was unnecessarily confrontational and encroached on presidential authority.Iran Nuclear Deal Credit Should Go to Kirk and Menendez, Not Obama
September 20, 2013
Despite facing many obstacles, it was encroached only once, when militants invaded and took Dr. Abdi hostage.Angelina Jolie Champions Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, Dr. Hawa Abdi
March 9, 2012
He had encroached, inch by inch, but her oblivion had not been inclination, as Waterbury fancied.Garrison's Finish
W. B. M. Ferguson
Then it made its way over the banks and encroached upon the campus.Hester's Counterpart
Jean K. Baird
One party had encroached on the ground prepared by the other, and refused to quit it.A Voyage round the World
They strike when they think that you have encroached on their trail.The Carter Girls
Hence, the Ugrian has been displaced, or encroached upon by others.The Natural History of the Varieties of Man
Robert Gordon Latham
- (often foll by on or upon) to intrude gradually, stealthily, or insidiously upon the rights, property, etc, of another
- to advance beyond the usual or proper limits
Word Origin and History for encroached
early 14c., "acquire, get," from Old French encrochier "seize, fasten on, hang on (to), cling (to); hang up, suspend," literally "to catch with a hook," from en- "in" (see en- (1)) + croc "hook," from Old Norse krokr "hook" (see crook). Meaning "seize wrongfully" is from c.1400. Sense of "trespass" is first recorded 1530s. Related: Encroached; encroaches; encroaching.