em·​brace | \im-ˈbrās \
embraced; embracing

Definition of embrace 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to clasp in the arms : hug

b : cherish, love

3a : to take up especially readily or gladly embrace a cause

b : to avail oneself of : welcome embraced the opportunity to study further

4a : to take in or include as a part, item, or element of a more inclusive whole charity embraces all acts that contribute to human welfare

b : to be equal or equivalent to his assets embraced $10

intransitive verb

: to participate in an embrace



Definition of embrace (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a close encircling with the arms and pressure to the chest especially as a sign of affection : hug

2 : grip, encirclement in the embrace of terror

3 : acceptance her embrace of new ideas

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Other Words from embrace


embraceable \im-​ˈbrā-​sə-​bəl \ adjective
embracement \im-​ˈbrās-​mənt \ noun
embracer noun
embracingly \im-​ˈbrā-​siŋ-​lē \ adverb

Synonyms for embrace

Synonyms: Verb

bear-hug, clasp, crush, enclasp, enfold, grasp, hug, strain

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Choose the Right Synonym for embrace


adopt, embrace, espouse mean to take an opinion, policy, or practice as one's own. adopt implies accepting something created by another or foreign to one's nature. forced to adopt new policies embrace implies a ready or happy acceptance. embraced the customs of their new homeland espouse adds an implication of close attachment to a cause and a sharing of its fortunes. espoused the cause of women's rights

include, comprehend, embrace, involve mean to contain within as part of the whole. include suggests the containment of something as a constituent, component, or subordinate part of a larger whole. the price of dinner includes dessert comprehend implies that something comes within the scope of a statement or definition. his system comprehends all history embrace implies a gathering of separate items within a whole. her faith embraces both Christian and non-Christian beliefs involve suggests inclusion by virtue of the nature of the whole, whether by being its natural or inevitable consequence. the new job involves a lot of detail

Examples of embrace in a Sentence


They embraced one last time before going their separate ways. a politician who has been embraced by conservatives Charity embraces all acts of generous giving. It's a subject that embraces many areas of learning.


He held her in a warm embrace.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

On November 16, the actor and musician shared a carousel on Instagram of two icons who embraced their body hair before her. Isabella Gomez, Teen Vogue, "Bella Thorne Posts Photos of Julia Roberts and Madonna Rocking Armpit Hair," 18 Nov. 2018 Meanwhile, brands that have embraced inclusion in their marketing materials are seeing success. Rebecca Jennings, Vox, "The stubborn irrelevance of the Victoria’s Secret fashion show," 8 Nov. 2018 To prepare her body for the grueling cardio and strength challenges that await, Davis, a long-distance runner, has embraced heavy weight lifting. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "How an Extreme Endurance Athlete Trains to Trek 704 Miles From Antarctica to the South Pole," 11 Oct. 2018 Yet the whole layout has a generous scale, an expansive flow, and a flexibility that embraces the way this family lives and entertains. Douglas Brenner, House Beautiful, "Bill Shakespeare Would Be Proud To Live In This House," 5 Oct. 2018 But now there's a competitive way to see the country that embraces slow travel instead. Katherine Lagrave, Condé Nast Traveler, "Japan's Ferry Is a Case for Taking the Slow Boat Instead of the Fast Train," 6 Aug. 2018 Designer Mark Zeff is among those who have embraced the notion of a somber hue for his beach house in East Hampton, New York. Laura Fenton, Curbed, "Black is the new black," 1 Aug. 2018 This year, Plain says, the Rhode Island candidates who might embrace that analogy are state Representative Aaron Regunberg, who is launching a primary challenge to Lieutenant Governor Dan McKee, and Matt Brown, a Democratic candidate for governor. James Pindell, BostonGlobe.com, "Suddenly every Democrat is the next Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Just ask them," 13 July 2018 For this latest endeavor, Andrei, along with Handel Architects and Bonetti Kozerski Studio, created interior aesthetics that embrace modern, pared-down living drenched in ocean views, natural light, and sea breezes. Wendy Goodman, The Cut, "Asbury Park’s Glam Squad," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The holiday season is fast approaching, which means it's once again time for the world to come together in a spirited embrace of consumerism. Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica, "The Ars Holiday Gift Guide 2018—tech and gear for travel that we’d buy," 13 Nov. 2018 In an Instagram post early Saturday morning, Justin shared a picture of him and Hailey in a sweet embrace. Gianluca Russo, Teen Vogue, "Justin Bieber Shared His Pet Name for Hailey Baldwin on Instagram," 10 Nov. 2018 Bubba Breaks Through Watson, ever the emotional player, shared a tearful embrace with his wife Angie after fending off Scott Verplank and Corey Pavin in a playoff to win the 2010 Travelers Championship for his first of 11 tour victories. Chris Brodeur, courant.com, "Highlights From Three Decades Of PGA Tour Drama In Cromwell," 17 June 2018 The two then shared a nuzzling embrace that brought the rescuers to tears, Garcia says. Kitson Jazynka, National Geographic, "Baby Sloth Reunited With Mom in Moving Video," 24 May 2018 Jeff Siner Richardson was in the room for the vote Tuesday and shared a tearful embrace with Goodell afterward. Katherine Peralta, charlotteobserver, "Why NFL commissioner says investigation of Panthers' Jerry Richardson isn't a 'farce' | Charlotte Observer," 23 May 2018 This will save me from having this public embrace with the president. Time Staff, Time, "Read the Full Transcript From James Comey's ABC Interview," 17 Apr. 2018 This blithe embrace of aspirational consumer capitalism colors the narrative in uneasy ways. Michael Lindgren, Houston Chronicle, "The story of the most dangerous cup of coffee in the world," 2 Feb. 2018 There is no shortage of commentators saying that this embrace of Israel is only going to harm the prospects for peace in the Middle East. Yoram Hazony, National Review, "Trump in the Middle East: Note Who Curses America, and Who Blesses It," 23 Jan. 2018

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


1592, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for embrace


Middle English, from Anglo-French embracer, from en- + brace pair of arms — more at brace

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Dictionary Entries near embrace








Statistics for embrace

Last Updated

2 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for embrace

The first known use of embrace was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for embrace



English Language Learners Definition of embrace

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to hold someone in your arms as a way of expressing love or friendship

: to accept (something or someone) readily or gladly

: to use (an opportunity) eagerly



English Language Learners Definition of embrace (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act of holding someone in your arms : the act of embracing someone


em·​brace | \im-ˈbrās \
embraced; embracing

Kids Definition of embrace

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to hold in the arms : hug The old friends embraced each other.

2 : to surround on all sides Low hills embraced the valley.

3 : to accept readily or gladly She is always ready to embrace an opportunity.

4 : include Mathematics embraces arithmetic, algebra, and geometry.



Kids Definition of embrace (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act of holding in the arms : hug

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More from Merriam-Webster on embrace

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with embrace

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for embrace

Spanish Central: Translation of embrace

Nglish: Translation of embrace for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of embrace for Arabic Speakers

Comments on embrace

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


a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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