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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Human beings have encroached on almost every part of the world.
▪ And the scaffolding that surrounded the dress circle has now encroached on to the stage.
▪ But even there, modernity has encroached.
▪ Fourthly, a successful terminal at Stratford would inevitably and inexorably encroach on the Lea Valley regional park and reduce leisure facilities.
▪ His knapsack was so big that it proved a useful weapon in knocking encroaching sunbathers off his collection of sun loungers.
▪ It is possible that the deletion is encroaching upon an important part of the protein and altering the conformation of the complex.
▪ One was the simple protection of individual rights against an encroaching state, the basic defence of rights in the liberal tradition.
▪ Poachers, illegal loggers and encroaching farmers are active everywhere across the sprawling archipelago.
▪ The law stipulates that a monument can not interfere or encroach upon an existing memorial.
▪ This is the chalk of the plains, although it encroaches upon the slopes, most notably in the northern Montagne.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Encroach \En*croach"\, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Encroached; p. pr. & vb. n. Encroaching.] [OF. encrochier to perch, prop., to hook, fasten a hook (perh. confused with acrochier, F. accrocher, to hook, get hold of, E. accroach); pref. en- (L. in) + F. croc hook. See Crook, and cf. Accroach.] 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; as, to encroach on a neighbor; to encroach on the highway.

No sense, faculty, or member must encroach upon or interfere with the duty and office of another.

Superstition, . . . a creeping and encroaching evil.

Exclude the encroaching cattle from thy ground.

Syn: To intrude; trench; infringe; invade; trespass.


Encroach \En*croach"\, n. Encroachment. [Obs.]

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

late 14c., "acquire, get," from Old French encrochier "seize, fasten on, hang on (to), cling (to); hang up, suspend," literally "to catch with a hook," from en- "in" (see en- (1)) + croc "hook," from Old Norse krokr "hook" (see crook (n.)). Sense extended to "seize wrongfully" (c.1400), then "trespass" (1530s). Related: Encroached; encroaches; encroaching.


n. (context rare English) encroachment. vb. 1 (context transitive obsolete English) to seize, appropriate 2 (context intransitive English) to intrude unrightfully on someone else's rights or territory 3 (context intransitive English) to advance gradually beyond due limits

  1. v. advance beyond the usual limit [syn: infringe, impinge]

  2. impinge or infringe upon; "This impinges on my rights as an individual"; "This matter entrenches on other domains" [syn: impinge, entrench, trench]

Usage examples of "encroach".

They continually encroached on Acadian fishing grounds, and we hear at one time of a hundred of their vessels thus engaged.

The Asura forces have not dared to encroach on mortal territories since you drove them back across the ocean to their island hell.

The confusion of public and private spheres in the pages of the press is echoed by an equally sinister confusion of literary discourse and the transmission of information, and it is here that Kraus performs the Cerberean function of satire by seeking to protect the imagination from rival and encroaching forms of discourse.

There is a disposition on the part of artists to tell stories, to encroach upon the sentiment of literature, to paint with a dry brush in harsh unsympathetic colors, to ignore relations of light-and-shade, and to slur beauties of form.

Given the proper chance, with bis skilled hands, he would wrest a good living even in the world where automatic machines were encroaching everywhere.

The Latin-speaking provinces were tired, they said, of paying to defend the eastern borders against the Islamic kingdoms in Arabia and the encroaching Kievan vassal-states, when the east did nothing to help against the Germans and Scandinavians who troubled the west.

Like thousands of other Palestinian and Lebanese families, this extended clan had been driven out of the Palestinian refugee camps and neighborhoods on the southern edge of Beirut by merciless Israeli bombing and shelling and were desperately looking for empty apartments closer to the heart of West Beirut, where thefighting had yet to encroach.

The curve, or distortion, of the spine increases more rapidly as the body becomes heavier, the spine often assuming the shape of the letter S, and, from compression by torsion of the vertebrae and distortion of the ribs, the vital organs are encroached upon, causing serious functional derangement of the heart, lungs, liver, and stomach, producing, as its inevitable consequence a list of maladies fearful to contemplate.

And if there had been any thought of bringing any of those warships eastward, despite the constant pressure put upon portions of New Spain by the Irish, French, Norse, and Portugees, who encroach further and ever further on the lands which the Spanishers falsely claim to own entire, that thought was forgotten completely after recent events.

But hear this, Chosen One: Pain will grow within in your body as the dark veins continue to encroach.

Buxted a stiff apology for this incivility he cordially agreed with Felix that the fellow was an encroaching windsucker, a prosy bore, and, probably, a slow-top into the bargain.

The oceans encroached farther upon the verdant coastal croplands with each succeeding year and Middle Kingdoms states were no whit less populous, so the only viable direction for expansion lay to the west.

Earl of Murray, with his character, was not a man to content himself with a barren title, while the estates which were crown property since the extinction of the male branch of the old earls, had been gradually encroached upon by powerful neighbours, among whom was the famous Earl of Huntly, whom we have already mentioned: the result was that, as the queen judged that in this quarter her orders would probably encounter opposition, under pretext of visiting her possessions in the north, she placed herself at the head of a small army, commanded by her brother, the Earl of Mar and Murray.

The front entrances were on the first floor rather than street level, so stone staircases encroached still further on the pavement.

The absurd was overpowered by the sinister, by the figures in bronze and sculped stone which, made furtive and hideous by encroaching moss and decades of fallen grime, lurked among the trailing tendrils and even, as the wind rustled between leathery leaves and broken masonary, seemed to move.