Definition of enclose in English:


(also inclose)


  • 1Surround or close off on all sides.

    ‘the entire estate was enclosed with walls’
    ‘a dark enclosed space’
    • ‘French doors lead to a partially enclosed courtyard area.’
    • ‘An estuary is a partially enclosed body of water where freshwater and saltwater mix.’
    • ‘The garden, designed by the Irish Garden Plant Society, is enclosed by a beech hedge.’
    • ‘But we were well protected as the circus ring was fully enclosed by a high chain link fence.’
    • ‘The back of the truck was open, but the sides were enclosed with splintery, yellow wood.’
    • ‘They are generally surrounded by courtyards enclosed by walls or fences for privacy.’
    • ‘The rear garden is fully enclosed and has a purpose built kennel.’
    • ‘She said: " A lot of this land is enclosed by fences.’
    • ‘The courtyard is completely enclosed, as is the private world of the immediate family.’
    • ‘To the front there is a good-sized garden enclosed by iron railings and a side entrance to the rear garden.’
    • ‘The garden, reflecting the Elizabethan fashion, has four courtyards enclosed by high sandstone walls.’
    • ‘All moving parts are totally enclosed, shin and foot guards are fitted as standard.’
    • ‘The area under appeal is a 90-acre section, enclosed by walls and fencing, to the east side of the Helm summit.’
    • ‘A cell is enclosed by the plasma membrane (cell envelope).’
    • ‘The spaces in between are enclosed with glass, making two internal courtyards.’
    • ‘The tomb precinct is enclosed on four sides by a wall constructed of stone.’
    • ‘A novel environment was created by partially enclosing a portion of a second floor balcony.’
    • ‘The open space around the blocks of flats was divided into semi-private areas that were enclosed with railings and gates.’
    • ‘Dark enclosed me and I looked up into the sky above me.’
    • ‘A stockproof property fence will be placed around the perimeter of the terminal land-holding and the terminal itself will be enclosed with a security fence.’
    • ‘More to the point, he thinks Pippin just really doesn't like his cage anymore, and doesn't like to be enclosed in small spaces.’
    • ‘The cells in the liver are also enclosed by membranes composed of similar substances.’
    surround, circle, ring, encompass, encircle, circumscribe, border, bound, edge, skirt, fringe, hem, line, flank
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1historical Fence in (common land) so as to make it private property.
      ‘the open fields in the parish were enclosed in 1808’
      • ‘By the time the fields were enclosed in 1845, the damage was done, and not until the 20th cent. did slum clearance remove Nottingham's notorious courts and alleys.’
      • ‘Landowners in Winterbourne Monkton had an Act of Parliament passed in 1813 to enable them to enclose common land in the parish.’
      • ‘It also enjoyed legal protection through the courts, and probably well over 20 per cent of the land area was enclosed by private means prior to 1750.’
      • ‘The ongoing liberalisation of global trade and investment is enabling international investors and transnational corporations to enclose the last of the commons.’
      • ‘Soon after growth accelerated when the common was enclosed and plots of land were sold off.’
      • ‘Throughout the rangelands agriculture is expanding, while former communal grazing areas are being enclosed.’
      • ‘Most of the land was enclosed for agriculture use.’
      • ‘As England's open grasslands began to be cultivated and enclosed by farmers, even birds which escaped the hunters gradually died away.’
      • ‘The burgesses, however, refused to enclose the surrounding open fields, and overcrowding became desperate.’
    2. 1.2Seclude (a religious order or other community) from the outside world.
      ‘a Mother Superior in an enclosed order’
      • ‘The Order was strict and enclosed in the early years.’
  • 2Place (something) in an envelope together with a letter.

    ‘I enclose a copy of the job description’
    • ‘And my grandmother wrote me letters in which she enclosed poems.’
    • ‘These letters often enclosed documents relating to the matters under discussion such as accounts, or petitions from subjects.’
    • ‘They should contact their train operator using a compensation form or by letter, enclosing proof of travel and details of the journey and delay experienced, as required.’
    • ‘I wrote her a letter, enclosing a self-addressed envelope for her convenience.’
    • ‘We enclose a draft Consent Order, which is based on a lump sum payment of damages.’
    • ‘The photograph enclosed was a holiday snap of a pretty blonde woman looking back over her shoulder on a river bank and laughing at the photographer.’
    • ‘Only one of the 2 items ordered is enclosed and it is badly damaged (although this is not visible until I open the parcel).’
    • ‘A copy of the letter sent by facsimile transmission is enclosed herewith for your information.’
    • ‘I also enclose a copy of the Land Registry entries for your own records.’
    • ‘He has called on any European nobility to contact him by letter enclosing a photograph.’
    • ‘With his letter, Father Larry enclosed a glorious picture of a mass of white blooms with lush green leaves.’
    • ‘The letter enclosing the cheque from the foundation stated that its selection committee considered more than one hundred applications.’
    • ‘The day Paul saw that picture and poem in a Boston magazine, he wrote Alice a letter and enclosed a love poem.’
    • ‘She enclosed £40 and asked him Purdie to pass it on to the two Celtic supporters.’
    • ‘Meanwhile I enclose copies of two letters from the estate agent both dated 14 January 2000 for your information.’
    • ‘She apologised, and enclosed £10 ‘to purchase and enjoy further supplies of our confectionery’.’
    • ‘These do not appear to be shown in the budget figures given in the pamphlet enclosed with the Community Charge bill dropped through the door this week.’
    • ‘It is enclosed in a sealed envelope along with this letter.’
    • ‘"Please find enclosed herewith a copy of the expert report.’
    • ‘The bright blue leaflet has been enclosed with customers' annual bills.’
    • ‘But there was enclosed with it a further copy of the draft of the proposed order that it sought from him.’
    include, insert, put in, enfold
    View synonyms
  • 3Place an object inside (a container)

    ‘the lamp was enclosed in a frosted glass globe’
    • ‘Water the plants, then enclose containers in plastic bags to keep the humidity high.’
    • ‘Some birds, turtles, and salamanders can get back on track even after researchers enclose them in windowless containers and move them by a twisted route to an unfamiliar place.’
    • ‘In this experiment the whole plants were enclosed in the gas-tight acrylic containers.’
    • ‘Here, 10 of these pictures were enclosed in 10 wall-mounted glass boxes.’
    • ‘In the early 1960s, for example, he began making constructions in which fluids are enclosed in plastic containers.’
    • ‘He smirked and wrapped his arms around mine, enclosing my body in his embrace before resting his head against mine.’
    • ‘The hamsters are enclosed in small plastic balls - a bit like the exercise balls you can buy in any pet shop.’


Middle English (in the sense ‘shut in, imprison’): from Old French enclos, past participle of enclore, based on Latin includere shut in.