verb (used with object)

to swallow up in or as in a gulf; submerge: The overflowing river has engulfed many small towns along its banks.
to plunge or immerse, as into a gulf: He engulfed himself in his studies.

Also ingulf.

Origin of engulf

First recorded in 1545–55; en-1 + gulf
Related formsen·gulf·ment, noun

Synonyms for engulf

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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verb (tr)

to immerse, plunge, bury, or swallow up
(often passive) to overwhelmengulfed by debts
Derived Formsengulfment, 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 engulf

1550s, from en- (1) "make, put in" + gulf. Related: Engulfed; engulfing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper