Definition of engulf in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪnˈɡʌlf/
Pronunciation: /ɛnˈɡʌlf/


[with object]
1(Of a natural force) sweep over (something) so as to surround or cover it completely: the cafe was engulfed in flames figurative Europe might be engulfed by war
More example sentences
  • Are these a coincidence, or has an evil force engulfed the town?
  • Consider the unprecedented scenes of anarchy and chaos that engulfed Britain last Monday night.
  • However, the country was soon engulfed in a bloody civil war in which one million people lost their lives out of a population of 14 million.
2Powerfully affect (someone); overwhelm: a feeling of anguish so great that it threatened to engulf him
More example sentences
  • A deep, overwhelming wave of emotion engulfed me, and I felt tears well in my eyes.
  • Overwhelming relief and joy engulfed Jason upon seeing her and he took a step forward.
  • He recalled how just the sight of his daughter in the early years had brought his grief flooding to the surface where it had threatened to engulf him.



Example sentences
  • Children who did well understood that they were not responsible for their parents and were able to avoid engulfment in their illness.
  • It sounds like your underlying fears of rejection and engulfment are controlling your life and not letting you share love.
  • These animals possess effective defense systems against microbes and parasites which involve engulfment of bacteria into specific cells.


Mid 16th century (formerly also as ingulf): from en-1, in-2 'in, on' + gulf.

Words that rhyme with engulf


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: en¦gulf

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