Definition of encroach in English:


Line breaks: en|croach
Pronunciation: /ɪnˈkrəʊtʃ
, ɛn-/


[no object] (usually encroach on/upon)
1Intrude on (a person’s territory, rights, personal life, etc.): rather than encroach on his privacy she might have kept to her room
More example sentences
  • He felt like he had encroached on her personal territory enough for one day.
  • The theory is that traditional bricks and mortar banks will suffer a loss of customers and revenues as internet banks encroach on their territory.
  • Maybe she felt like we were encroaching upon her territory, who knows.
intrude, trespass, impinge, butt in, barge in, cut in, obtrude, impose oneself;
invade, infiltrate, interrupt, infringe, violate, interfere with, disturb, disrupt;
informal gatecrash, horn in on, muscle in on, invade someone's space
archaic entrench on
1.1Advance gradually beyond usual or acceptable limits: the sea has encroached all round the coast
More example sentences
  • Gradually strings encroach, playing at a different tempo and seemingly to a different tune.
  • Humanity is being squeezed between deserts expanding outward and rising seas encroaching inward.
  • They are encroaching into the space reserved for the buses.


late Middle English (in the sense 'obtain unlawfully, seize'; formerly also as incroach): from Old French encrochier 'seize, fasten upon', from en- 'in, on' + crochier (from croc 'hook', from Old Norse krókr).



More example sentences
  • The Forest Conservation Act of 1980, ostensibly meant to protect the environment, in effect reduced tribal communities to encroachers and thieves in their traditional habitat.
  • ‘They are illegal encroachers,’ I've heard people say of slum dwellers, ‘they breed like rabbits.’
  • It is obvious that a large proportion of the forest area is in the possession of encroachers in connivance with real estate agents, politicians and government officials.

Definition of encroach in: