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[en-grohs] /ɛnˈgroʊs/
verb (used with object)
to occupy completely, as the mind or attention; absorb:
Their discussion engrossed his attention. She is engrossed in her work.
to write or copy in a clear, attractive, large script or in a formal manner, as a public document or record:
to engross a deed.
to acquire the whole of (a commodity), in order to control the market; monopolize.
Origin of engross
1275-1325; Middle English engros(s)en to gather in large quantities, draft (a will, etc.) in final form < Anglo-French engrosser, partly < Medieval Latin ingrossāre to thicken, write large and thick (Latin in- in-2 + gross(us) thick + -āre infinitive suffix); partly < Anglo-French, Middle French en gros in quantity, wholesale < Latin in + grossus; see gross
Related forms
[en-groh-sid-lee, -grohst-] /ɛnˈgroʊ sɪd li, -ˈgroʊst-/ (Show IPA),
engrosser, noun
reengross, verb (used with object)
self-engrossed, adjective
unengrossed, adjective
1. involve, immerse, engage. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for self-engrossed
Historical Examples
  • I hate talking to a man who is too self-engrossed to pay me attention.

    Lover or Friend

    Rosa Nouchette Carey
  • How unsympathetic she had been; how self-engrossed; how callous to the sensibilities of others!

    The Man Bram Stoker
  • As a rule the people I have been brought in contact with have been hard and self-engrossed.

    Eden Edgar Saltus
  • He would not ever be able to understand her wish to be alone, or to be self-engrossed.


    Frank Swinnerton
  • Nellie's opaque, self-engrossed eyes were continually fixed on some distant object.

    Narcissus Evelyn Scott
  • Had Gaga seen the aversion in Sally's eyes he would have released her in horror; but he was self-engrossed.


    Frank Swinnerton
  • He did not care for grown-up girls as a rule, they were too self-conscious and self-engrossed—schoolgirls were far more fun.

    Etheldreda the Ready Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
  • I need not become proud and self-engrossed because the things around me are beautiful and rich with associations.

    Flaming June Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
  • The ardour born anew in her man's self-engrossed heart soon died down.

  • Re-reading this letter, which she was far too self-engrossed to consider selfish, Brigit addressed it.

    The Halo Bettina von Hutten
British Dictionary definitions for self-engrossed


verb (transitive)
to occupy one's attention completely; absorb
to write or copy (manuscript) in large legible handwriting
(law) to write or type out formally (a deed, agreement, or other document) preparatory to execution
another word for corner (sense 21b)
Derived Forms
engrossed, adjective
engrossedly (ɪnˈɡrəʊsɪdlɪ) adverb
engrosser, noun
Word Origin
C14 (in the sense: to buy up wholesale): from Old French en gros in quantity; C15 (in the sense: to write in large letters): probably from Medieval Latin ingrossāre; both from Latin grossus thick, gross
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 self-engrossed



c.1400, "to buy up the whole stock of" (in Anglo-French from c.1300), from Old French en gros "in bulk, in a large quantity, at wholesale," as opposed to en detail. See gross.

Figurative sense of "absorb the whole attention" is first attested 1709. A parallel engross, meaning "to write (something) in large letters," is from Anglo-French engrosser, from Old French en gros "in large (letters)." Related: Engrossed; engrossing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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