em·​bark | \im-ˈbärk \
embarked; embarking; embarks

Definition of embark 

intransitive verb

1 : to go on board a vehicle for transportation the troops embarked at noon

2 : to make a start embarked on a new career

transitive verb

1 : to cause to go on board (a boat, an airplane, etc.)

2 : to engage, enlist, or invest in an enterprise

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Other Words from embark

embarkation \ˌem-​ˌbär-​ˈkā-​shən, -​bər-​ \ noun
embarkment \im-​ˈbärk-​mənt \ noun

Examples of embark in a Sentence

The troops are waiting to embark. Millions of Europeans embarked for America in the late 19th century.

Recent Examples on the Web

The Sounders, part-owned by Allen’s Seahawks, won an MLS Cup title two years ago, made the final last season and are about to embark on their 10th consecutive playoff appearance. Geoff Baker, The Seattle Times, "Analysis: Why CenturyLink Field is unlikely to be renamed for Paul Allen any time soon," 22 Oct. 2018 There is usually only one stop per day and the boat waits for no one before embarking on its journey. Lindsey Murray, Good Housekeeping, "Your Getaway Guide to Skopelos Island, Where "Mamma Mia" Was Filmed," 9 Oct. 2018 The world’s largest container line is about to embark on a trip through the cold Arctic to test a faster shipping method that could become viable as warmer temperatures melt open the Northern Sea Route. Christopher Carbone, Fox News, "World's largest shipping company heads to Arctic as climate change may open up new routes," 22 Aug. 2018 The two brothers were on a family trip and planned to spend three days in San Francisco before embarking on a road jaunt to Yosemite and the Grand Canyon. Sarah Ravani, SFChronicle.com, "French connection: Fans flock to San Francisco’s World Cup watch party," 10 July 2018 For the 12 teams in that 8-under age group, the regular season was all about developing skills and learning the game before embarking on a season-ending tournament. Emmett Hall, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Cooper City Optimist Cubs claw their way to a perfect season," 8 July 2018 Rick and Joan DeNatale Green walk the city of Barcelona, and Sarah Wesley Lemire has tips for families about to embark on a road trip together. Nancy Schoeffler, courant.com, "Editor's Note: Hot Stuff And Accolades," 22 June 2018 Those of legal drinking age can visit a cash bar before embarking on their quest. Juliet Bennett Rylah, Los Angeles Magazine, "After a Year Hiatus, One of L.A.’s Scariest Theater Experiences Is Returning," 22 June 2018 After raising four children there, the couple embarked on a major remodel in 2012, which cost over $200,000. Amy Gamerman, WSJ, "A New Breed of Innkeepers for the Airbnb Era," 8 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'embark.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of embark

1533, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for embark

Middle French embarquer, from Old Occitan embarcar, from em- (from Latin in-) + barca bark

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Statistics for embark

Last Updated

2 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for embark

The first known use of embark was in 1533

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More Definitions for embark



English Language Learners Definition of embark

: to begin a journey especially on a ship or airplane


em·​bark | \im-ˈbärk \
embarked; embarking

Kids Definition of embark

1 : to go on or put on board a ship or an airplane The last of the passengers embarked.

2 : to begin a project or task She embarked on a new career.

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More from Merriam-Webster on embark

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with embark

Spanish Central: Translation of embark

Nglish: Translation of embark for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of embark for Arabic Speakers

Comments on embark

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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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