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 embark (audio) , -​bər-​ \ noun
embarkment \ im-​ˈbärk-​mənt How to pronounce embark (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 New Jersey is about to embark on the largest immunization program in its history, with limited resources and – so far, at least – insufficient funds. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Vaccine freezer, Christmas cheer, Iditarod trail switch: News from around our 50 states," 24 Dec. 2020 That changed Wednesday when Lisa Evanson took home the $1,000 cash prize and the chance to embark on a professional stand-up career with an injection of confidence. Neal Justin, Star Tribune, "Funniest Person in the Twin Cities contest finally crowns a female winner," 11 Sep. 2020 One year later, the team had compiled enough information to embark on an archaeological dig. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Likely Burial Site of Irish Hero ‘Red’ Hugh O’Donnell Found in Spain," 28 May 2020 When the urge to embark on a multistep, many-bowl baking project wanes but the desire for cake does not, snacking cake comes to the rescue. Washington Post, "One-bowl snacking cakes are everything exhausted bakers need now," 15 Dec. 2020 Tom Izzo, who is about to embark on his 26th season, missed two weeks after being diagnosed with COVID-19 on Nov. 9. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State basketball vs. Eastern Michigan: Scouting report, prediction," 26 Nov. 2020 With Miami-Dade county about to embark on a recount that would have likely favored Democrat Al Gore, the rioters alleged that the election was being stolen. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "The Trump Campaign’s Farcical Attempt to Steal an Election," 5 Nov. 2020 Hannah Bronfman—the entrepreneur, influencer, DJ, and fitness enthusiast—is about to embark on her biggest venture yet: becoming a mother. Hannah Dylan Pasternak, SELF, "My Bedtime Routine: Hannah Bronfman," 2 Nov. 2020 The directors and key employees, many of whom were about to embark on ski holidays, initially pushed back, according to the CEO and several associates. Bojan Pancevski, WSJ, "How Pfizer Partner BioNTech Became a Leader in Coronavirus Vaccine Race," 22 Oct. 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

8 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Embark.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/embark. Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

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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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