Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[en-vahy-ruh n, -vahy-ern] /ɛnˈvaɪ rən, -ˈvaɪ ərn/
verb (used with object)
to form a circle or ring round; surround; envelop:
a house environed by pleasant grounds; to be environed by bad influences.
Origin of environ
1300-50; Middle English envirounen < Old French environner, derivative of environ around (en en-1 + viron a circle; vir(er) to turn, veer1 + -on noun suffix)
Related forms
unenvironed, adjective


[en-vahy-ruh nz, -vahy-ernz, en-ver-uh nz, -vahy-ernz] /ɛnˈvaɪ rənz, -ˈvaɪ ərnz, ˈɛn vər ənz, -vaɪ ərnz/
plural noun
the surrounding parts or districts, as of a city; outskirts; suburbs.
surrounding objects; surroundings; environment.
an area or space close by; vicinity.
1655-65; < French (plural); replacing Middle English environ < Old French, noun use of environ around; see environ Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for environ
Historical Examples
  • We took a walk up the glen whence the creek flows, and on to some hills which environ it.

  • The iron-gray hair is white as the snow on the mountain-tops that environ him.

    Shadows of Shasta Joaquin Miller
  • No calling was needed; the person spoken of being in the environ close by; and Gregorio, again opening the door, drew him inside.

    The Free Lances Mayne Reid
  • And there be many in that country, that have their nails so long, that they environ all the hand.

  • Then heard he a voice say: Galahad, I see there environ about thee so many angels that my power may not dare thee.

    Chronicle and Romance (The Harvard Classics Series) Jean Froissart, Thomas Malory, Raphael Holinshed
  • It is prevented from doing this by the popular trammels which environ it.

    Nature and Culture Harvey Rice
  • Lead them into a path by which they can escape from danger; protect the innocent from the snares which environ them on every side.

    The History of Prostitution William W. Sanger
  • In vain I stretch out my hand to the toils that environ thee.

    Egmont Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
  • I have been accustomed to guide myself through worse dangers than now environ me.

    Peveril of the Peak Sir Walter Scott
  • It is only for a time that temptation will environ you, and your path will be toilsome.

    Memoirs of Carwin the Biloquist Charles Brockden Brown
British Dictionary definitions for environ


(transitive) to encircle or surround
Word Origin
C14: from Old French environner to surround, from environ around, from en-1 + viron a circle, from virer to turn, veer1


plural noun
a surrounding area or region, esp the suburbs or outskirts of a town or city; vicinity
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 environ

late 14c. (implied in environing), "to surround," from Old French environer "to surround, enclose, encircle," from environ "round about," from en- "in" (see en- (1)) + viron "circle, circuit," from virer "to turn" (see veer). Related: Environed.



"outskirts," 1660s, from French environs, plural of Old French environ "compass, circuit," from environ (adv.) "around, round about" (see environ).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for environ

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for environ

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for environ