em·bed | \ im-ˈbed \
variants: or less commonly
embedded also imbedded; embedding also imbedding; embeds also imbeds

Definition of embed 

transitive verb

1a : to enclose closely in or as if in a matrix fossils embedded in stone

b : to make something an integral part of the prejudices embedded in our language

c : to prepare (a microscopy specimen) for sectioning by infiltrating with and enclosing in a supporting substance

d : to insert (a media file, such as a graphic, video, or audio clip) into a computer document (as on a website or in an e-mail) Marketers embed advertisements in subscription mailing-list messages to reach target audiences. —Matthew Mills The company… lets users embed video and audio attachments in E-mail messages. —Matt Richtel

2a : to attach (a journalist) to a military unit for the purpose of covering a conflict Ever since the American-led invasion of Iraq last year, when hundreds of journalists were embedded with military units, people in media circles have been debating whether journalists lose their professional detachment under such circumstances and begin to identify too closely with the troops they are covering. —Robert D. Kaplan

b : to attach (someone) to a group (such as a military unit or government agency) for the purpose of advising, training, or treating its members Implementation of the plan to embed behavior specialists at the brigade level will result in 50 positions being staffed between now and 2013. —Philip Grey Dr. Dawdy … is one of the more unusual relief workers among the thousands who have come to the devastated expanses of Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. She is officially embedded with the Federal Emergency Management Agency as a liaison to the state's historic preservation office. —John Schwartz

3 : to surround closely a sweet pulp embeds the plum seed

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Other words from embed

embedment \im-ˈbed-mənt \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for embed


bed, enroot, entrench (also intrench), fix, impact, implant, ingrain (also engrain), lodge, root


dislodge, root (out), uproot

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Examples of embed in a Sentence

embed a post in concrete the nails were solidly embedded in those old plaster walls

Recent Examples on the Web

Copy and paste to share this video Copy and paste to embed this video Who Is America? Evan Real, The Hollywood Reporter, "Sarah Palin Reveals Details of Sacha Baron Cohen Showtime Interview," 13 July 2018 Google wields heavy influence over the parts of our lives embedded on our phones. Alex Davies, WIRED, "Inside X, the Moonshot Factory Racing to Build the Next Google," 11 July 2018 In the workshop, participants will be led through a step-by-step process of creating traditional, rectangular white paper as well as circular paper, and shown how to embed items in the paper to create interesting shapes and shadows. charlotteobserver, "What’s up this week in Charlotte’s visual arts?," 10 July 2018 An independent review board cites worker error and embedded hardware problems for much of the escalating costs and delays. Marcia Dunn, OrlandoSentinel.com, "More delay, cost for NASA's James Webb Space Telescope," 28 June 2018 The board’s report highlighted a series of human errors and embedded problems in the hardware as the main drivers of the delay. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, "NASA’s Webb telescope delayed to 2021," 27 June 2018 Our Founders honored that core promise by embedding the principle of religious neutrality in the First Amendment. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "Sotomayor read Trump’s tweets too and wants to know why the rest of the Supreme Court didn’t.," 26 June 2018 Our Founders honored that core promise by embedding the principle of religious neutrality in the First Amendment. Anne Branigin, The Root, "Sonia Sotomayor Reads the Supreme Court's Travel Ban Decision for Filth," 26 June 2018 Engineers achieved the daring effect by embedding a series of 20-foot concrete-reinforced pillars that extend from the terrain to the bottom of the house. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Solar-powered modern studio appears to float in midair," 25 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'embed.' 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 embed

circa 1794, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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Statistics for embed

Last Updated

7 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for embed

The first known use of embed was circa 1794

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More Definitions for embed



English Language Learners Definition of embed

: to place or set (something) firmly in something else


em·bed | \ im-ˈbed \
embedded; embedding

Kids Definition of embed

: to enclose in or as if in a surrounding substance Workers embedded the posts in concrete.

variants: also imbed \im-ˈbed \
embedded also imbedded; embedding also imbedding

Medical Definition of embed 

: to prepare (a microscopy specimen) for sectioning by infiltrating with and enclosing in a supporting substance

Other words from embed

embedment \-ˈbed-mənt \ noun

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Comments on embed

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


alleviating pain or harshness

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