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

Keep scrolling for more

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

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are set to embark upon their first royal tour as a family with baby Archie in the coming months. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince Harry Gushes About Introducing His "Wife and Son to South Africa" in Sweet Instagram Post," 1 Sep. 2019 All three are about to embark on higher education careers, with Hagegard heading to Rensselear Polytechnic Institute in New York, Muñoz attending Pasadena City College and Thompsky joining the freshman class at UC Santa Cruz. La Cañada Valley Sun, "JPL Boy Scout Troop 509 boasts 3 new Eagles," 29 Aug. 2019 The national team berth is a first for Bryant, who went on to star at Clemson and Kentucky before embarking on a professional career. Mark Stewart, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Eight years ago Dezerea Bryant set state track records. Today she is a U.S. national champion," 29 July 2019 Colorado will open with a four-game homestand before embarking on a six-game road trip, its longest of the year. Joe Nguyen, The Denver Post, "Colorado Avalanche 2019-20 regular season schedule unveiled," 25 June 2019 Twombly and Rauschenberg embarked on a romantic relationship and a (nearly) lifelong friendship. Andrew Martin, Harper's magazine, "Not Mere Projection," 10 Mar. 2019 Providence will embark on uncharted territory with new coach Sherith Lewis, who will guide the program through the Prep League in the Pioneers’ first year competing against varsity contention in the league. Vincent Nguyenstaff Writer, Burbank Leader, "Girls’ Tennis Preview: Plenty to look forward to for trio of teams," 21 Aug. 2019 The Indians will have a chance to split the series at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, July 30, before embarking on a three-game road trip to Toledo. Tyler Kraft, Indianapolis Star, "Indians drop series-opener to Columbus, fall to .500," 30 July 2019 There, Charlotte embarks on a fraught relationship with Sidney Parker (Theo James) and becomes embroiled in the intrigues of the sleepy seaside town. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "Watch the trailer for the lush adaptation of Jane Austen's unfinished novel Sanditon," 29 July 2019

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

Statistics for embark

Last Updated

9 Sep 2019

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 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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


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!