verb (used with object)

  1. to swallow up in or as in a gulf; submerge: The overflowing river has engulfed many small towns along its banks.
  2. to plunge or immerse, as into a gulf: He engulfed himself in his studies.

verb (tr)

  1. to immerse, plunge, bury, or swallow up
  2. (often passive) to overwhelmengulfed by debts

1550s, from en- (1) “make, put in” + gulf. Related: Engulfed; engulfing.

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