• (British) IPA: /ɛŋˈkɹəʊtʃ/, /ɪŋˈkɹəʊtʃ/

encroach (encroaches, present participle encroaching; past and past participle encroached)

  1. (transitive, obsolete) to seize, appropriate
  2. (intransitive) to intrude unrightfully on someone else’s rights or territory
    • 1579, Immeritô [pseudonym; Edmund Spenser], The Shepheardes Calender: Conteyning Tvvelue Æglogues Proportionable to the Twelue Monethes. Entitled to the Noble and Vertuous Gentleman most Worthy of all Titles both of Learning and Cheualrie M. Philip Sidney, London: Printed by Hugh Singleton, dwelling in Creede Lane neere vnto Ludgate at the signe of the gylden Tunne, and are there to be solde, OCLC 606515406 ↗; republished in Francis J[ames] Child, editor, The Poetical Works of Edmund Spenser: The Text Carefully Revised, and Illustrated with Notes, Original and Selected by Francis J. Child: Five Volumes in Three, volume III, Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company; The Riverside Press, Cambridge, published 1855, OCLC 793557671 ↗, page 406, lines 222–228 ↗:
      Now stands the Brere like a lord alone, / Puffed up with pryde and vaine pleasaunce. / But all this glee had no continuaunce: / For eftsones winter gan to approche; / The blustering Boreas did encroche, / And beate upon the solitarie Brere; / For nowe no succoure was seene him nere.
    • 2005, Plato, Sophist. Translation by Lesley Brown. 252d.
      Because change itself would absolutely stay-stable, and again, conversely, stability itself would change, if each of them encroached on the other.
  3. (intransitive) to advance gradually beyond due limits
Translations Translations
  • German: ausdehnen
  • Russian: вторга́ться

encroach (plural encroaches)

  1. (rare) Encroachment.
    • 1805, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, ‘What is Life?’:
      All that we see, all colours of all shade, / By encroach of darkness made?
    • 2002, Caroline Winterer, The Culture of Classicism, JHU Press 2002, p. 116:
      Shorey was among the most vociferous opponents of the encroach of scientism and utilitarianism in education and society in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

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