surround

surround, *environ, encircle, circle, encompass, compass, hem, gird, girdle, ring can mean to close in or as if in a ring about something.
Surround is a general term without specific connotations; it implies enclosure as if by a circle or a ring
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the town was once surrounded by a wall

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a crowd surrounded the victim of the accident

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the ships are surrounded by a veil of smoke

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whole divisions were frequently overrun or surrounded and cut to pieces when a timely withdrawal would have saved them— Shirer

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Often the term denotes not a literal enclosure but something which forms the circumstances, the environment, or the border of something
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,surrounded by luxury

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a pleasant white-haired widow surrounded by many potted plants— Cheever

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those mental and moral barriers with which the average Englishman surrounds himself— Bagot

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Environ also implies enclosure as if by a circle or a ring, but it often differs somewhat from surround in carrying a clearer implication of the permanent or continuing existence of what environs; thus, "a nation environed by foes" does not clearly imply as immediate danger as "an army surrounded by foes" does, but the former does suggest a persistent or ever-present danger in a way that the latter cannot. The difference is often slight but usually perceptible
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the passions and motives of the savage world which underlies as well as environs civilization— Howells

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persuading the doubter that our human spirits are environed by other and vaster spiritual powers— Whiteley

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there are old buildings still ... but they are usually overshadowed by an environing swarm of new stucco— H. L. Davis

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Encircle is not quite the equal of surround though very like it in meaning and often interchangeable with it; it more definitely suggests an enclosing circle and therefore often is suited to a more concrete use; in this sense it is often equal to circle
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I found myself encircled in the arms of my . . . Father— Richardson

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a wreath encircles the brow of Apollo

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the close which encircles the venerable cathedral— Macaulay

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its frame residences —many of them aged— circle a small business district— Amer. Guide Series: Texas

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Also, encircle and circle may denote to proceed in a circle about something, a meaning unknown to surround
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circled the house in his search

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as a hungry wolf might have encircled... the firelit camp of a hunter— Anderson

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at this speed, 186,000 miles per second, it would take us only about one seventh of a second to circle the earth— B. J. Bok

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Encompass suggests something that closes in or shuts off a place or person; it often also suggests a motive (as protection or homage or hostility)
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the flaming Seraph, fearless, though alone, encompassed round with foes, thus answered bold— Milton

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the love of all thy sons encompass thee— Tennyson

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for an instant... he contained within himself illimitable space and power, enough to encompass and hold all the ships and men that at this moment lay between heaven and the Atlantic— Hervey

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Compass implies a being surrounded or encompassed usually by something that covers and protects or by something that weighs down upon and depresses
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those wild regions of obscurity which are vaguely felt to be compassing us about in midnight dreams of flight and disaster— Hardy

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we must be humble, for we are compassed by mysteries, and our spiritual faculties are poor and dull— Inge

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the Great Peace beyond all this turmoil and fret compassed me around— L. P. Smith

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Hem, usually followed by an adverb and especially in, carries the strongest implication of confinement or of perfect enclosure of any of these words and often suggests difficulty or impossibility of escape
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the constables were hemmed in so closely that they could make no use of their pikes— Costain

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a mule generally becomes most evil-eyed and active when you try to hem him up so you can slip the bridle on— Amer. Guide Series: Ark.

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low hills which hem the valley— Ernestine Evans

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lone flower, hemmed in with snows, and white as they— Words wo rth

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Gird and girdle both basically apply to an encircling of the waist with a belt or girdle.
Gird is sometimes preferred when the meaning of to surround or encircle is expressed and the idea of a strong or insuperable barrier is implied
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I girded thee, though thou hast not known me— Isa 45:5

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like to his island, girt in with the ocean— Shak.

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girt with a chain he cannot wish to break— Cowper

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shut up as in a crumbling tomb, girt round with blackness as a solid wall— Tennyson

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Girdle, on the other hand, tends to imply an encirclement suggestive of a belt or sash or constituting a zone
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great coastal plain which girdles the United States— Morgan

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and seldom connotes a tight or confining quality in what encircles
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the whole harbor looks like Coleridge's Xanadu, the walls and towers girdled round with radiance— Atkinson

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Ring carries a vivid picture of formation in a ring, but beyond this it has no particular implication. It is frequently chosen as a picturesque word in the senses of surround, encircle, and hem in
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a girdle of mist will ring the slopes, while the heights rise clear in the upper air— W. C. Smith

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a septuagenarian whose few sad last grey hairs, ringing an otherwise completely bald head— The Irish Digest

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Analogous words: *enclose, envelop, wall, fence, cage, coop: circumscribe, confine, *limit

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Surround — Sur*round , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Surrounded}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Surrounding}.] [OF. suronder to overflow, LL. superundare; fr. L. super over + undare to rise in waves, overflow, fr. unda wave. The English sense is due to the influence of E. round …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • surround — index border (bound), circumscribe (surround by boundary), contain (enclose), delimit, detain (hold in custody) …   Law dictionary

  • surround — [sə round′] vt. [ME surrounden, altered (as if < sur ,SUR 1 + round) < surunden, to overflow < OFr suronder < LL superundare < L super (see SUPER ) + undare, to move in waves, rise < unda, a wave (see WATER)] 1. to cause to be… …   English World dictionary

  • Surround — Sur*round , n. A method of hunting some animals, as the buffalo, by surrounding a herd, and driving them over a precipice, into a ravine, etc. [U.S.] Baird. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • surround — early 15c., to flood, overflow, from M.Fr. soronder to overflow, abound, surpass, dominate, from L.L. superundare overflow, from L. super over (see SUPER (Cf. super )) + undare to flow in waves, from unda wave (see WATER (Cf …   Etymology dictionary

  • surround — [v] enclose, encircle something beleaguer, beset, besiege, blockade, border, bound, box in, circle, circumscribe, circumvent, close around, close in, close in on, compass, confine, edge, enclave, encompass, envelop, environ, fence in, fringe,… …   New thesaurus

  • surround — ► VERB 1) be all round; encircle. 2) be associated with. ► NOUN 1) a border or edging. 2) (surrounds) surroundings. ORIGIN originally in the sense «overflow»: from Latin superundare, from undare to flow …   English terms dictionary

  • Surround — Dolby Logo de Dolby Personnages clés Ray Dolby, Chairman Siège social San Francisco …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Surround — El sonido Surround, sonido envolvente o sonido 3D, se refiere al uso de múltiples canales de audio para provocar efectos envolventes a la audiencia, ya sea proveniente de una película o de una banda sonora. Esta tecnología ha llegado hoy a… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Surround — Raumklang ist eine Bezeichnung für Klangaufführungen, die im und für den Raum erzeugt wurden. (engl.: ambience). Erste Raumklangstücke haben dafür mehrere Orchester oder Chöre im Raum an verschiedenen Stellen platziert (siehe Venezianische… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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