- 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 encroaching
The parallels Hong Kong readers find between the encroaching Titans and China have made it a huge success there.This Author Kills More Darlings Than George R.R. Martin
September 24, 2014
“Scorched earth,” historically, means destroying land to deprive the encroaching enemy of its use.Israel Creates ‘No Man’s Land’ in Gaza, Shrinking Strip by 40 Percent
July 28, 2014
“I realized these rude people were encroaching upon my personal life—my own fault, mind you—for opening the door,” he said.Twitter's TV Wars
November 29, 2010
When he falls in love with human Grace, he must fight the encroaching winter and the change it will bring.Spring's Big YA Books
March 18, 2010
Or will this encroaching uneasiness with Obama stay limited to this one snapshot in time in this one Southern state?Are Blacks Abandoning Obama?
December 15, 2009
I then placed sentinels to prevent the crowd from encroaching on us.Reminiscences of Forts Sumter and Moultrie in 1860-'61
He had no thought of encroaching upon the lands of the Indians, or of erecting any forts in antagonism to them.
In spite of the headwind, the fire was encroaching forward as well as aft.Chatterbox, 1906
The encroaching British were working their way into every open water in America.All Afloat
No encroaching politeness in the act, but kindness, unadorned.The Confidence-Man
- (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 encroaching
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.