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

Keep scrolling for more

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

But ace pitchers Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard could command a huge return, and the front office must decide whether to embark on such a significant overhaul. Mike Fitzpatrick, Houston Chronicle, "Mets GM Sandy Alderson steps down after cancer returns," 27 June 2018 But ace pitchers Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard could command a huge return, and the front office must decide whether to embark on such a significant overhaul. Mike Fitzpatrick, The Seattle Times, "Mets GM Sandy Alderson steps down after cancer returns," 26 June 2018 Over the past three years, officials have embarked on an aggressive campaign to limit migrants’ numbers. Michael Holtz, The Christian Science Monitor, "China's forced evictions: One migrant family's story," 13 June 2018 The Foundation has just embarked on a $10 million expansion and facelift, to be completed in 2020. Travel Wisconsin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The human spirit: Wisconsin’s conservation heroes," 10 June 2018 Beyoncé has officially embarked on her 'On the Run Tour II'—one of the summer's most highly anticipated events, and quite the follow-up to the two-hour extravaganza that was Beychella. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "Beyoncé's "On the Run Tour II" Fashion: All the Looks," 7 June 2018 The details of how Richard and Tami decided to embark on their crazy expedition in the first place snap intriguingly into place like puzzle pieces. Justin Chang, latimes.com, "Shailene Woodley's performance powers the evasive shipwreck-survival drama 'Adrift'," 31 May 2018 Since his thrilling victory, Power has embarked on a non-stop media tour that has allowed for almost no sleep. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Power's surge, Hinchcliffe's return, clarity on Alonso as IndyCar heads to Detroit," 31 May 2018 Meghan and Harry haven't embarked on their honeymoon just yet. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Official Wedding Portraits Are Here and They're Flawless," 21 May 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about embark

Phrases Related to embark

embark on/upon

Statistics for embark

Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for embark

The first known use of embark was in 1533

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on embark

What made you want to look up embark? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!