• synonyms


[en-seynt, ahn-sant; French ahn-sant]
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  1. pregnant; with child.
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Origin of enceinte1

1590–1600; < Middle French < Late Latin incincta, perhaps literally “ungirded,” equivalent to Latin in- in-3 + cincta, feminine of cinctus, past participle of cingere to belt, gird, surround


[en-seynt, ahn-sant; French ahn-sant]
noun, plural en·ceintes [en-seynts, en-sants; French ahn-sant] /ɛnˈseɪnts, ɛnˈsænts; French ɑ̃ˈsɛ̃t/.
  1. a wall or enclosure, as of a fortified place.
  2. the place enclosed.
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Origin of enceinte2

1700–10; < French: enclosure, also girding fence or rampart < Latin incincta, noun use of feminine of incinctus girded in (past participle of incingere), equivalent to in- in-2 + cing- gird + -tus past participle suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for enceinte

Historical Examples

  • This caponnière is on a lower level than the enceinte of the place.

    The Life of Gordon, Volume I

    Demetrius Charles Boulger

  • There are many signs of that result—not least that your sister is enceinte.

    The Letters of Cicero, Volume 1

    Marcus Tullius Cicero

  • Girl or wife, I don't know which; but I can swear she was enceinte.

  • Portions of the wall of enceinte are to be found upon the south and east.

    British Castles

    Charles H. Ashdown

  • She discovered that she was enceinte and joyfully informed Julien of the fact.

British Dictionary definitions for enceinte


  1. another word for pregnant
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Word Origin

C17: from French, from Latin inciēns pregnant; related to Greek enkuos, from kuein to be pregnant


  1. a boundary wall enclosing a defended area
  2. the area enclosed
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Word Origin

C18: from French: enclosure, from enceindre to encompass, from Latin incingere, from cingere to gird
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

Word Origin and History for enceinte


c.1600, insente, from French enceinte "pregnant" (12c.), from Late Latin incincta (source of Italian incinta), usually explained as "ungirt," from Latin in-, privative prefix (see in- (1)), + cincta, fem. of cinctus, past participle of cingere "to gird" (see cinch). Modern form is 18c., perhaps a reborrowing from French.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper