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verb (used with object), en·closed, en·clos·ing.
  1. to shut or hem in; close in on all sides: a valley enclosed by tall mountains.
  2. to surround, as with a fence or wall: to enclose land.
  3. to insert in the same envelope, package, or the like: He enclosed a check. A book was sent with the bill enclosed.
  4. to hold or contain: His letter enclosed a check.
  5. Roman Catholic Church.
    1. to restrict to the enclosure of a monastery or convent.
    2. (of a monastery, convent, church, etc.) to establish or fix the boundary of an enclosure.
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Also inclose.

Origin of enclose

First recorded in 1275–1325, enclose is from the Middle English word en-, inclosen. See in-1, close
Related formsen·clos·a·ble, adjectiveen·clos·er, nounpre·en·close, verb (used with object), pre·en·closed, pre·en·clos·ing.re·en·close, verb (used with object), re·en·closed, re·en·clos·ing.self-en·closed, adjectiveun·en·closed, adjective


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for enclose



verb (tr)
  1. to close; hem in; surround
  2. to surround (land) with or as if with a fence
  3. to put in an envelope or wrapper, esp together with a letter
  4. to contain or hold
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Derived Formsenclosable or inclosable, adjectiveencloser or incloser, 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

Word Origin and History for enclose


early 14c., from en- (1) + close, and partially from Old French enclos, past participle of enclore.

Specific sense of "to fence in waste or common ground" for the purpose of cultivation or to give it to private owners, is from c.1500. Meaning "place a document with a letter for transmission" is from 1707. Related: Enclosed; enclosing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper