ENCROACH, v.i. [Eng. crook.] Primarily, to catch as with a hook. Hence,

1. To enter on the rights and possession of another; to intrude; to take possession of what belongs to another, by gradual advances into his limits or jurisdiction, and usurping a part of his rights or prerogatives; with on. The farmer who runs a fence on his neighbor's land, and incloses a piece with his own, encroaches on his neighbor's property. Men often encroach, in this manner, on the highway. The sea is said to encroach on the land, when it wears it away gradually; and the land encroaches on the sea, when it is extended into it by alluvion. It is important to prevent one branch of government from encroaching on the jurisdiction of another.

2. To creep on gradually without right.

Superstition--a creeping and encroaching evil.

3. To pass the proper bounds, and enter on another's rights.

Exclude th' encroaching cattle from thy ground.