Definitions

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

  • intransitive verb To take another's possessions or rights gradually or stealthily.
  • intransitive verb To advance beyond proper or former limits.
  • intransitive verb Football To commit encroachment.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To seize; take; take possession of; get; obtain.
  • To enter, intrude, or trespass upon the possessions, jurisdiction, rights, province, domain, or limits of some other person or thing; infringe upon or restrict another's right in any way; specifically, in law, to extend one's possession of land so as to transgress the boundary between it and the rightful possession or enjoyment of another or of the public: with on or upon before the object.
  • Figuratively, to intrude gradually; lay hold, as if by stealth or irresistible power: with on or upon before the object: as, old age is encroaching upon me.
  • Synonyms Trench upon, infringe upon, etc. (see trespass, v. i.); to invade, violate, creep upon.
  • noun The act of encroaching; encroachment.

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

  • intransitive verb To enter by gradual steps or by stealth into the possessions or rights of another; to trespass; to intrude; to trench; -- commonly with on or upon
  • noun obsolete Encroachment.

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

  • verb transitive, obsolete to seize, appropriate
  • verb intransitive to intrude unrightfully on someone else's rights or territory
  • verb intransitive to advance gradually beyond due limits
  • noun rare Encroachment.

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

  • verb impinge or infringe upon
  • verb advance beyond the usual limit

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English encrochen, to seize illegally, from Old French encrochier, to seize : en-, in; see en– + croc, hook (of Germanic origin).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French encrochier ("seize"), from en- + croc ("hook").

Examples

  • Q: Local authorities issue bonds, partake in joint ventures, lend to SME's - in short, encroach on turf previously exclusively occupied by banks, the capital markets, and business.

    Recently Uploaded Slideshows

  • If you stand in that area, you can now look out across the subdivisions, which are beginning to encroach, which is the explanation for my recommendation to the President that we create a larger protected area.

    Press Briefing On Protecting Critical Lands Across America

  • Within hours of reports that Mukherjee himself was at the receiving end of such calls, Raja activated his ministry to take steps against such calls that "encroach" into the privacy of telecom consumers, an issue that has been haunting every single consumer despite the regulator

    The Times of India

  • Within hours of reports that Mukherjee himself was at the receiving end of such calls, Raja activated his ministry to take steps against such calls that "encroach" into the privacy of telecom consumers, an issue that has been haunting every single consumer despite the regulator

    Top Headlines

  • Within hours of reports that the finance minister himself was at the receiving end of such calls, Raja activated his ministry to take steps against such calls that 'encroach' into the privacy of telecom consumers, an issue that has been haunting every single consumer despite the Trai attempts to ban such a nuisance.

    The Financial Express

  • Everything you said sounds wonderful and golden -- except that neocons are perpetually revising the definition of "encroach" and what it means to "speak out against Government."

    Propeller Most Popular Stories

  • Everything you said sounds wonderful and golden -- except that neocons are perpetually revising the definition of "encroach" and what it means to "speak out against Government."

    Propeller Most Popular Stories

  • As the confessional wends its way around the circle and begins to conclude, the girls anxiously wipe away their tears, and take up their obstinance once again as thoughts of their parents waiting outside the door begin to encroach upon the fragile intimacy of the classroom.

    American Grace

  • Protester Vipida Thaisawat says Cambodia is using the world heritage status to encroach on Thai land.

    Thai Yellow Shirts Protest Against Leaders, UNESCO Temple Listing

  • Protester Vipida Thaisawat says Cambodia is using the world heritage status to encroach on Thai land.

    Thai Yellow Shirts Protest Against Leaders, UNESCO Temple Listing

Comments

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  • Cambridge Dictionaries Online:

    encroach on/upon sth phrasal verb

    1 to gradually take away someone else's rights, or to take control of someone's time, work, etc:

    What the government is proposing encroaches on the rights of individuals

    I resent it that my job is starting to encroach on my family life.

    2 to gradually cover more and more of an area of land

    They have promised that the development will not encroach on public land.

    August 23, 2008

  • The wine was so good, that we encroached upon a second bottle.

    - Lesage, The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane, tr. Smollett, bk 7 ch. 13

    October 2, 2008