[ en-kuhm-puhs ]
See synonyms for: encompassencompassedencompassesencompassing on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)
  1. to form a circle about; encircle; surround: He built a moat to encompass the castle.

  2. to enclose; envelop: The folds of a great cloak encompassed her person.

  1. to include comprehensively: a work that encompasses the entire range of the world's religious beliefs.

  2. Obsolete. to outwit.

Origin of encompass

First recorded in 1545–55; en-1 + compass

Other words from encompass

  • en·com·pass·ment, noun
  • un·en·com·passed, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use encompass in a sentence

  • But her encompassment, as is so apt to be the case here, was pitiably mediocre.

  • He waved one hand here and there, as though generalizing the whole luxurious encompassment.

    An Ambitious Woman | Edgar Fawcett
  • How he longed to lift them up from the drag of their mental encompassment!

    Carmen Ariza | Charles Francis Stocking
  • But nobody has blown away from the matter its brumous encompassment and let in the light upon it It is very simple.

  • Carmen lived with her eyes on Him, despite her dreary mundane encompassment.

    Carmen Ariza | Charles Francis Stocking

British Dictionary definitions for encompass


/ (ɪnˈkʌmpəs) /

  1. to enclose within a circle; surround

  2. to bring about; cause to happen; contrive: he encompassed the enemy's ruin

  1. to include entirely or comprehensively: this book encompasses the whole range of knowledge

Derived forms of encompass

  • encompassment, 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