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.

Nearby words

  1. engross,
  2. engrossed,
  3. engrossed bill,
  4. engrossing,
  5. engrossment,
  6. enhalo,
  7. enhance,
  8. enhanced oil recovery,
  9. enhanced radiation weapon,
  10. enhancement

Also ingulf.

Origin of engulf

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

Related formsen·gulf·ment, noun

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

Examples from the Web for engulf

British Dictionary definitions for engulf



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