Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

encroach - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb [intransitive]     encroach pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
present tense
present participleencroaching
past tenseencroached
past participleencroached
  1. 1
    to gradually take something such as power or authority from someone else
    encroach on/upon:

    The federal government is encroaching on a state issue.

  2. 2
    to cover more land gradually
    encroach on/upon:

    Housing developments continue to encroach on wildlife habitats.

    Synonyms and related words
  3. 3
    to gradually reduce the amount of time that someone has available to do what they want to do
    encroach on/upon:

    I didn’t want work to encroach any more on my spare time.

derived word


noun [countable/uncountable]
Word Forms
quiz invitation


a description of an economic or political situation based on analysis of information at the present time

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


an unregulated form of capitalism that features financial deregulation, privatisation and low tax for high earners

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play