Definition of encroach in English:

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Pronunciation: /inˈkrōCH/


[no object] (usually encroach on/upon)
1Intrude on (a person’s territory or a thing considered to be a right): 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 on, trespass on, impinge on, obtrude on, impose oneself on, invade, infiltrate, interrupt, infringe on, violate, interfere with, disturb
informal horn in on, muscle in on
archaic entrench on
1.1Advance gradually beyond usual or acceptable limits: the sea has encroached all around 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.



Pronunciation: /inˈkrōCHər/
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.


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).

Words that rhyme with encroach

approach, broach, brooch, coach, loach, poach, reproach, roach

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: en·croach

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