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engulf

Line breaks: en¦gulf
Pronunciation: /ɪnˈɡʌlf
 
, ɛn-/

Definition of engulf in English:

verb

[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.

Origin

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

Derivatives

engulfment

1
noun
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.

Definition of engulf in:

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