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engulf

[en-guhlf]
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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.
  2. to plunge or immerse, as into a gulf: He engulfed himself in his studies.
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Also ingulf.

Origin of engulf

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

Synonyms

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1. envelop, bury, inundate, deluge, swamp.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for engulfing

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • On the verandah the gliding figures were engulfing Franklin; he had fallen.

    The World Beyond

    Raymond King Cummings

  • The impulse returned to flee, to vanish in the engulfing wild of the mountains.

    Mountain Blood

    Joseph Hergesheimer

  • The seas were engulfing the ship so that the officers could not see the waterspout at all.

  • Then it was that Eppie had been swept away by the engulfing relative.

    The Shadow of Life

    Anne Douglas Sedgwick

  • His pupils dilated in the attempt to pierce the engulfing darkness.

    A Family of Noblemen

    Mikhal Saltykov


British Dictionary definitions for engulfing

engulf

ingulf

verb (tr)
  1. to immerse, plunge, bury, or swallow up
  2. (often passive) to overwhelmengulfed by debts
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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 engulfing

engulf

v.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper