View synonyms for engulf


[ en-guhlf ]

verb (used with object)

  1. to swallow up in or as in a gulf; submerge:

    The overflowing river has engulfed many small towns along its banks.

    Synonyms: swamp, deluge, inundate, bury, envelop

  2. to plunge or immerse, as into a gulf:

    He engulfed himself in his studies.


/ ɪnˈɡʌlf /


  1. to immerse, plunge, bury, or swallow up
  2. often passive to overwhelm

    engulfed by debts

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Derived Forms

  • enˈgulfment, noun

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Other Words From

  • en·gulfment noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of engulf1

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

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Example Sentences

I guess if the pandemic just gets so out of control that it engulfs the whole country again, then that could bring it to a halt.

His family’s apartment was destroyed in the early-1990s civil war that engulfed the nation.

From Ozy

If you don’t create, update, and optimize your content, you’ll fall behind and get engulfed by your competition.

The ongoing collaboration between Sims and Berni with the genetically modified Drosophila larvae emerged from the next debate that engulfed the field, which concerned whether Lévy walks are adaptive, intrinsic traits.

Amoebas engulf a bit of prey by surrounding it with their pseudopodia.

Other schools have been shuttered because of attacks and threats stemming from the war that continues to engulf the country.

Suddenly, the screen cuts to FLAMES which engulf the word "COWARDS?!?"

Using ethnicity for political ends is a dangerous game that will engulf South Sudan if not contained.

The scale of devastation is now threatening to engulf the amount of resources deployed to control the situation.

This timing may have been a mercy, given the fate that was about to engulf Yugoslavia.

It must be creeping around the eastern edge, and would soon engulf us.

If her burning fire could but be poured out upon him, and engulf the artist in her destroying waves.

We would then be sleeping on a volcano, such as may at any hour engulf the empire of Russia.

I decided to wait until she was quite close and then to engulf her with the full force of the male principle.

Vines threatened to engulf the circling street of sepulchers in greenery and bloom, and grass to encroach on the flower plots.