• synonyms


[en-vahy-ruh n, -vahy-ern]
See more synonyms for environ on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to form a circle or ring round; surround; envelop: a house environed by pleasant grounds; to be environed by bad influences.
Show More

Origin of environ

1300–50; Middle English envirounen < Old French environner, derivative of environ around (en en-1 + viron a circle; vir(er) to turn, veer1 + -on noun suffix)
Related formsun·en·vi·roned, adjective


[en-vahy-ruh nz, -vahy-ernz, en-ver-uh nz, -vahy-ernz]
plural noun
  1. the surrounding parts or districts, as of a city; outskirts; suburbs.
  2. surrounding objects; surroundings; environment.
  3. an area or space close by; vicinity.
Show More

Origin of environs

1655–65; < French (plural); replacing Middle English environ < Old French, noun use of environ around; see environ


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

encircle, fence, envelop, surround, enclose, circumscribe, limit, encompass

Examples from the Web for environ

Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for environ


  1. (tr) to encircle or surround
Show More

Word Origin

C14: from Old French environner to surround, from environ around, from en- 1 + viron a circle, from virer to turn, veer 1


pl n
  1. a surrounding area or region, esp the suburbs or outskirts of a town or city; vicinity
Show More
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 environ


late 14c. (implied in environing), "to surround," from Old French environer "to surround, enclose, encircle," from environ "round about," from en- "in" (see en- (1)) + viron "circle, circuit," from virer "to turn" (see veer). Related: Environed.

Show More



"outskirts," 1660s, from French environs, plural of Old French environ "compass, circuit," from environ (adv.) "around, round about" (see environ).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper