[en-kuhm-puh s]

verb (used with object)

to form a circle about; encircle; surround: He built a moat to encompass the castle.
to enclose; envelop: The folds of a great cloak encompassed her person.
to include comprehensively: a work that encompasses the entire range of the world's religious beliefs.
Obsolete. to outwit.

Origin of encompass

First recorded in 1545–55; en-1 + compass
Related formsen·com·pass·ment, nounun·en·com·passed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for encompassed

Contemporary Examples of encompassed

Historical Examples of encompassed

  • All the afternoon they wandered about, until black night encompassed them.

    King Philip

    John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott

  • There was a wedge-shaped garden in front, and it was encompassed by chestnut-trees.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine

  • I felt I ought to marry her at once to shield her from the dangers that encompassed her.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service

  • They have encompassed them with gardens, and filled them with fountains.


    Benjamin Disraeli

  • The top rises in a cone, or pyramid of stone, encompassed by battlements.

British Dictionary definitions for encompassed


verb (tr)

to enclose within a circle; surround
to bring about; cause to happen; contrivehe encompassed the enemy's ruin
to include entirely or comprehensivelythis book encompasses the whole range of knowledge
Derived Formsencompassment, 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 encompassed



1550s, from en- (1) "make, put in" + compass. Related: Encompassed; encompasses; encompassing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper