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

My mother embraced hoop earrings for all occasions. Frances Solá-santiago, Glamour, "What Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Hoop Earrings Mean to Latina Women Like Me," 11 Jan. 2019 The armed forces, government, business and civil society must work together to craft a common national-security approach embracing both hard and soft power. Elisabeth Braw, WSJ, "Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Military-Industrial Complex," 2 Jan. 2019 In the process, Brandon’s little brother embraced an entirely new perspective. Mike Vorel, The Seattle Times, "How his brother’s cancer battle became Seahawks safety Bradley McDougald’s motivation," 2 Jan. 2019 The two ladies embraced each other on stage with hugs and smiles. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Presents Clare Waight Keller With the British Womenswear Designer of the Year Award," 10 Dec. 2018 People who condemn anonymous sourcing of The Times op-ed, now embrace this anonymous sourcing are being hypocrites. Fox News, "Kavanaugh denies assault allegations in Fox News interview," 25 Sep. 2018 But for a player more than familiar with the NBA's winding road, with playing stops with six NBA franchises over a 13-year career, all opportunities are embraced. Ira Winderman, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Anthony Carter still scrapping for Heat, this time in coach mode," 13 July 2018 That’s part of a broader strategy of taking the high road, embracing multilateralism, and hoping Trump continues to alienate his natural trade allies. Alan Murray, Fortune, "Trump and NATO, Papa John's Out, Broadcom Buys CA: CEO Daily for July 12, 2018," 12 July 2018 To embrace the fact that fantasy is not simply an escape from the world but an invitation to go deeper into it. Aja Romano, Vox, "In the era of Trump and apocalyptic change, Hopepunk is a storytelling template for #resistance — and hanging onto your humanity at all costs.," 27 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Along with images of the couple sharing in an embrace, Miley's mom, Tish, shared family photographs. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Every Photo from Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth's Wedding," 28 Dec. 2018 Case in point, Nike’s embrace of quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was ostracized by the NFL for protesting racial injustice during the national anthem before games. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Colin Kaepernick’s Nike ads are just one piece of a bigger ‘reckoning’ in the fashion industry," 20 Sep. 2018 Now even lighter, even more gentle in their embrace, these are benchmark-setting headphones. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Wireless headphones are improving faster than anything else in tech," 31 Aug. 2018 The tone of the exhibit, which is to be built in Atlanta but staffed in Chicago with a yet-unspecified number of local hires, is not unlike that of the show in its embrace of both humor and history. Chris Jones, chicagotribune.com, "'Hamilton: The Exhibition' by Lin-Manuel Miranda and his team will debut in Chicago in November," 6 May 2018 There’s almost a cosmic dimension to some of the most beautiful passages, as if the world (call it nature or God or sensitive direction) were holding Charley in its embrace. Manohla Dargis, New York Times, "Review: In ‘Lean on Pete,’ a Boy’s Survival in the Other America," 5 Apr. 2018 After Woods sank a putt to seal his first PGA Tour victory in five years on Sunday, Herman met Woods with a loving embrace. Kathleen Joyce, Fox News, "Tiger Woods and girlfriend Erica Herman get glammed up for Ryder Cup Gala," 27 Sep. 2018 In a moment captured by cameras, Southgate — a former player himself who ended up managing the English national team for his first World Cup this year — shared a tender embrace with his wife, Alison, in the empty stands. Raisa Bruner, Time, "This Is the Most Tender Photo of the World Cup So Far," 12 July 2018 Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been seen sharing a warm embrace with exciting new signing Naby Keita. SI.com, "Liverpool Manager Jurgen Klopp Welcomes New Signing Naby Keita to Melwood Ahead of Pre-Season," 2 July 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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Statistics for embrace

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

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 complex dispute or argument

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