em·​bark | \ im-ˈbärk How to pronounce embark (audio) \
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 How to pronounce embarkation (audio) , -​bər-​ \ noun
embarkment \ im-​ˈbärk-​mənt How to pronounce embarkment (audio) \ 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 Islanders embark on a summer of love, drama and relationships. Nina Zafar, Washington Post, "What to watch on Friday: ‘The Duchess’ on Netflix," 11 Sep. 2020 Fifty days before the general election, Democratic congressional candidate Alexandra Owensby will embark on a road trip through Northern Kentucky. Julia Fair, The Enquirer, "How to meet Thomas Massie's Democratic opponent Alexandra Owensby next week," 10 Sep. 2020 Within a few weeks, my husband and I decided to sublet our apartment, finance a car, and embark on a cross-country road trip. Cat Quinn, refinery29.com, "I’m A Beauty Editor Road-Tripping Across America — Here’s What I Packed," 3 Sep. 2020 Upon the success of that mission, Epps, Williams and Cassada will embark on a six-month expedition on the ISS, which is expected to occur sometime in 2021. Antonia Jaramillo, USA TODAY, "NASA astronaut Jeanette Epps could become first Black woman to live on the International Space Station," 26 Aug. 2020 The days of having to wait for the mail or look for a printer before being able to embark on a great European rail journey are finally coming to an end. Meena Thiruvengadam, Travel + Leisure, "Europe’s Iconic Paper Rail Passes Are Finally Going Digital After 60 Years," 12 Aug. 2020 That's the day the British people voted by a narrow margin to leave the European Union, their biggest export market, and embark on a new future outside the bloc. Charles Riley, CNN, "The pandemic alone doesn't explain Britain's world beating recession," 12 Aug. 2020 The news coincided with the first day of fall practice, which normally is when more than 100 football players gather together on the field to officially embark on a journey, with everyone envisioning the first step in a championship season. Kirk Kenney, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Aztecs fans won’t be allowed at home football games according to latest state guidelines," 7 Aug. 2020 Away Oscar-winner Hilary Swank stars as an American astronaut who struggles with leaving her husband and daughter behind to embark on a dangerous mission with an international space crew. Ben Flanagan | Bflanagan@al.com, al, "New on Netflix: September 2020," 1 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for embark

Time Traveler

The first known use of embark was in 1533

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Statistics for embark

Last Updated

16 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Embark.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/embark. Accessed 26 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for embark


How to pronounce embark (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of embark

: to begin a journey especially on a ship or airplane


em·​bark | \ im-ˈbärk How to pronounce embark (audio) \
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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