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[en-guhlf] /ɛnˈgʌlf/
verb (used with object)
to swallow up in or as in a gulf; submerge:
The overflowing river has engulfed many small towns along its banks.
to plunge or immerse, as into a gulf:
He engulfed himself in his studies.
Also, ingulf.
Origin of engulf
1545-55; en-1 + gulf
Related forms
engulfment, noun
1. envelop, bury, inundate, deluge, swamp. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for engulfing
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He was aghast, and he bared his feelings to the world before he sank in the engulfing sea of negation.

    Stubble George Looms
  • Then it was that Eppie had been swept away by the engulfing relative.

    The Shadow of Life Anne Douglas Sedgwick
  • Alice trod on a perpetual volcano, which was given to opening and engulfing her just at the moment when she least expected it.

    All's Well Emily Sarah Holt
  • His pupils dilated in the attempt to pierce the engulfing darkness.

    A Family of Noblemen Mikhal Saltykov
  • As they leave, the ocean comes up, swallowing the city and engulfing everything except the temple.

British Dictionary definitions for engulfing


verb (transitive)
to immerse, plunge, bury, or swallow up
(often passive) to overwhelm: engulfed by debts
Derived Forms
engulfment, 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 engulfing



1550s, from en- (1) "make, put in" + gulf. Related: Engulfed; engulfing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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