from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To form a circle around; surround.
  • transitive verb To move or go around completely; make a circuit of.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To form a circle round; inclose or surround circularly; embrace as in a ring or circle; gird: as, luminous rings encircle Saturn.
  • To encompass; surround; environ: as, the army encircled the city.
  • To move about in a circular direction; make the circuit of.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To form a circle about; to inclose within a circle or ring; to surround

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To surround, form a circle around.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb form a circle around
  • verb bind with something round or circular


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • Great Powers of falling wave and wind and windy fire,

    With your harmonious choir

    Encircle her I love and sing her into peace,

    That my old care may cease;

    Unfold your flaming wings and cover out of sight

    The nets of day and night.

    - W.B. Yeats, 'Aedh pleads with the Elemental Powers'.

    September 18, 2009