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 & Antonyms for embrace

Synonyms: Verb

carry, comprehend, contain, encompass, entail, include, involve, number, subsume, take in

Antonyms: Verb

exclude, leave (out), omit

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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

But will Thomas embrace this unwelcome role change? Sam Amick, USA TODAY, "Isaiah Thomas has no choice but to be a sixth man after joining Nuggets on one-year deal," 13 July 2018 Yet for that to happen, governments must embrace them. The Economist, "Mini-grids may be the best way to illuminate the “bottom billion”," 12 July 2018 But smaller ride-hailing apps embrace aggregator apps as an opportunity to spread the word about their services. Jessi Hempel, WIRED, "Uber and Lyft's Never-Ending Quest to Crush Price Comparison Apps," 11 July 2018 Everything Is Borrowed embrace grief, outrage, uplift, and shades of hope and despair, love and disdain, in between. John Timpane, Philly.com, "Nathaniel Popkin is a Philly author with a rare double play - two new books at once," 11 July 2018 Let’s vote for people who embrace our values and respect all members of our communities. Maliha Kareem, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Travel ban's enduring hostility toward Muslims," 11 July 2018 And staffers will embrace those children and adults with firm hugs and wide smiles. Michael Katz, idahostatesman, "A slain refugee was set to start preschool Monday. Despite tragedy, staffers carry hope.," 6 July 2018 Subaru, the car company that embraces all-wheel-drive and four-legged friends, is on a roll. Jeff Yip, Houston Chronicle, "Newly arrived 2019 Subaru Ascent fills three-row midsize SUV niche," 24 June 2018 The other men and women who populate the video also embrace a more mutualistic and fluid approach to gender and power. Taylor Hosking, The Atlantic, "Beyonce and Jay-Z’s New Vision of Gender in ‘Apeshit’," 22 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This suggests Democrats’ primary embrace of women could pay November dividends. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "It’s the Year of Democratic Women. The GOP Remains a Party of Men.," 25 May 2018 Many will champion the Pulitzer committee's overdue embrace of hip-hop. August Brown, latimes.com, "Kendrick Lamar’s work has long alluded to other Pulitzer Prize winners," 17 Apr. 2018 But he was again pressed to respond to George P. Bush’s embrace of Trump amid the personal attacks on his family. Alejandra Matos, San Antonio Express-News, "Bush dynasty continues after upset averted in land commissioner race," 10 Mar. 2018 Making due allowance for the NFL’s increasing embrace of college principles, Stanford’s pro-style tenets can endear signal callers to talent evaluators looking for quarterbacks who won’t face a steep learning curve at the next level. Chris Johnson, SI.com, "Stanford Has Built a Pro-Style QB Pipeline in Andrew Luck's Wake," 1 Mar. 2018 Many Democratic strategists recoiled at their party’s embrace of a proposal so radical in its branding, and ill-defined in its details. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Abolishing ICE Is About As Popular As Trump’s Immigration Agenda," 11 July 2018 The celebrations in the streets enacted that sense of possibility, with all the groups mixing together in an ebullient embrace, the French flag speaking the stories of players such as Zidane and Thuram as the true story of the country. Laurent Dubois, The Atlantic, "France’s Ghosts Return for the World Cup," 14 July 2018 Not everyone has welcomed Ethiopia's embrace of the peace deal, with some residents in the northern Tigray region bordering Eritrea holding protests. Elias Meseret, The Christian Science Monitor, "Ethiopia and Eritrea unite after ending 20-year border war," 9 July 2018 The first myth is that the American electorate’s embrace of Donald Trump, and the Republican Party’s broader adoption of xenophobic populism, were both products of the federal government’s persistent failure to secure our nation’s borders. Eric Leivtz, Daily Intelligencer, "For Democrats, Immigration Is a Political Problem Without a Policy Solution," 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

21 Oct 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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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 state of commotion or excitement

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