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encroach

[en-krohch]
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verb (used without object)
  1. to advance beyond proper, established, or usual limits; make gradual inroads: A dictatorship of the majority is encroaching on the rights of the individual.
  2. to trespass upon the property, domain, or rights of another, especially stealthily or by gradual advances.
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Origin of encroach

1275–1325; Middle English encrochen < Anglo-French encrocher, Old French encrochier to catch hold of, seize, equivalent to en- en-1 + -crochier, verbal derivative of croc hook < Germanic; see crooked, crook1
Related formsen·croach·er, nounun·en·croached, adjectiveun·en·croach·ing, adjective

Synonyms

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1, 2. See trespass.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for encroaching

encroach

verb (intr)
  1. (often foll by on or upon) to intrude gradually, stealthily, or insidiously upon the rights, property, etc, of another
  2. to advance beyond the usual or proper limits
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Derived Formsencroacher, nounencroachingly, adverbencroachment, noun

Word Origin

C14: from Old French encrochier to seize, literally: fasten upon with hooks, from en- 1 + croc hook, of Germanic origin; see crook
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 encroaching

encroach

v.

early 14c., "acquire, get," from Old French encrochier "seize, fasten on, hang on (to), cling (to); hang up, suspend," literally "to catch with a hook," from en- "in" (see en- (1)) + croc "hook," from Old Norse krokr "hook" (see crook). Meaning "seize wrongfully" is from c.1400. Sense of "trespass" is first recorded 1530s. Related: Encroached; encroaches; encroaching.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper