To encroach is to overstep your bounds, to take over space or rights that belong to another, like your brother whose mess always encroaches on your side of the room you share.

The verb encroach comes from the Old French word encrochier, meaning “seize, fasten on, catch with a hook.” If others slowly take over what belongs to you, they encroach, like people who encroach on your personal space at a crowded concert, or someone whose questions get more and more personal, which encroaches on your privacy.

Definitions of encroach
  1. verb
    advance beyond the usual limit
    synonyms: impinge, infringe
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    type of:
    advance, go on, march on, move on, pass on, progress
    move forward, also in the metaphorical sense
  2. verb
    impinge or infringe upon
    synonyms: entrench, impinge, trench
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    type of:
    take advantage, trespass
    make excessive use of
Word Family

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