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

Now that House Democrats are in charge, the tables are turning as party lawmakers embark on wide-ranging inquiries into President Trump and his administration. Byron Tau, WSJ, "Democrats Adopt GOP Strategy in Fight for Trump Probe Information," 3 Mar. 2019 The socialite was known for her exquisite taste in style and interiors, even embarking on a career as an interior decorator at one point. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "Carole Radziwill Remembers Her Late Mother-in-Law Lee Radziwill," 19 Feb. 2019 She and Harry embarked on a 16-day royal tour of Australia, New Zealand, Tonga, and Fiji back in October, right after her pregnancy was first announced. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Will Travel to Morocco with Prince Harry While Seven Months Pregnant," 8 Feb. 2019 The airport has slowly emerged from the paralysis, with a small number of flights embarking on Friday morning, but the drone and its operators still remain at large. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "We Still Have No Idea How to Deal With Drones," 21 Dec. 2018 Marshall is well-served by casting Robin Williams (then embarking on a long decade of alternating between broad comedies and blatant attempts to win his own Oscar) as De Niro’s doctor, as Williams keeps the film light and lively. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Penny Marshall’s groundbreaking directing career, explained in 3 movies," 18 Dec. 2018 Even the most experienced cruiser will have to throw out expectations upon embarking on the Scarlet Lady. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "We Can't Handle How Good the Food Will Be on Virgin Voyages," 7 Nov. 2018 The Saudis and SoftBank have formed a tight bond that is rooted in each of their financial needs: The Saudi government has embarked on an ambitious attempt to diversify their economy away from oil — leading them into sectors like U.S. tech. Theodore Schleifer, Recode, "The Saudi Arabian government is ready to commit another $45 billion to SoftBank’s Vision Fund," 5 Oct. 2018 Huge congratulations to @evapilgrim who will embark on this new journey with me. Megan Friedman, Good Housekeeping, "Paula Faris Leaves 'Good Morning America' in Tears on Her Last Day as Weekend Anchor," 1 Oct. 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

11 Mar 2019

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 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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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

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


to corrupt or become corrupted

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