Definition of encroach in US English:

encroach

verb

[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’
    • ‘Maybe your cat is insecure, but maybe there really is another cat encroaching on his turf.’
    • ‘Maybe she felt like we were encroaching upon her territory, who knows.’
    • ‘The theory is that traditional bricks and mortar banks will suffer a loss of customers and revenues as internet banks encroach on their territory.’
    • ‘He felt like he had encroached on her personal territory enough for one day.’
    • ‘They rang up and more or less told us not to encroach on their territory.’
    • ‘Of course, the powerful have always encroached on the sovereignty of others.’
    • ‘Huge towers grew into the sky, as the countryside gradually encroached on the city outskirts.’
    • ‘I lean across the table, encroaching on his space.’
    • ‘Personal media, in a variety of forms, will increasingly encroach on mass media.’
    • ‘It seemed to be the perfect place to sit and study people without encroaching on their personal space.’
    • ‘Providing you are not encroaching on their space, they are pretty placid animals.’
    • ‘Increased tourist flow may increase conflict with tigers and encroach on their habitat.’
    • ‘Illegal shops and businesses are encroaching on public land and locals are fighting each other over customers.’
    • ‘The maps also show us some areas that are still wild, but being rapidly encroached upon by human activities.’
    • ‘During times of increased rainfall, the sea exceeded its natural boundaries and encroached on land.’
    • ‘If you went out the guest bedroom window you saw the forest that was slowly encroaching on our backyard.’
    • ‘Right or wrong, I think the public perception is that these measures collectively encroach on American civil liberties.’
    • ‘Where people encroach on wolf habitat, road traffic accidents and shooting are increasing problems.’
    intrude, trespass, impinge, butt in, barge in, cut in, obtrude, impose oneself
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Advance gradually beyond usual or acceptable limits.
      ‘the sea has encroached all around the coast’
      • ‘As industrialization encroached, and communications and entertainment became more instantaneous, private, and personal, communities began to lose cohesion.’
      • ‘I shrugged and threw a rock into the slowly encroaching darkness.’
      • ‘Gradually strings encroach, playing at a different tempo and seemingly to a different tune.’
      • ‘Sand seems to be encroaching at every turn despite government-erected barriers.’
      • ‘Surrounded by trees, with vegetation encroaching down its banks, this clear, languid pool is more of a pond.’
      • ‘Two of the Western Isles were so battered by ferocious storms this January that the Atlantic Ocean has encroached more than ever.’
      • ‘Soil erosion is increasing, mud slides are occurring more often and the desert is encroaching increasingly.’
      • ‘The wet patches gradually shrink, the bubbles subside, the dryness steadily encroaches.’
      • ‘The disease came on gradually, it encroached steadily.’
      • ‘As with so much of ancient Britain, however, the theme-park disease is encroaching.’
      • ‘Humanity is being squeezed between deserts expanding outward and rising seas encroaching inward.’
      • ‘There's something quite magical about autumnal afternoons with the curtains open and the twilight encroaching.’
      • ‘Council was addressing an application made for approval of a retaining wall that encroaches onto the boulevard.’
      • ‘His bass is strident without encroaching, but never drives the rhythm; rather, it reacts to it.’
      • ‘They are encroaching into the space reserved for the buses.’

Origin

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).

Pronunciation