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), miss out [British], 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

And with a government in the undefined near future embracing nationalistic policies and suppressing its citizens’ language, the novel feels disturbingly contemporary. Constance Grady, Vox, "We read all 25 National Book Award finalists for 2018. Here’s what we thought.," 15 Nov. 2018 President Trump has questioned America’s role in Afghanistan, while reluctantly embracing a new strategy last year that increased U.S. troop levels in the country to 15,000. Dion Nissenbaum, WSJ, "U.S. Considers Asking Afghanistan to Suspend Presidential Election," 13 Nov. 2018 Between directing blockbusters like Star Trek and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, J.J. Abrams has spent the last few years eagerly embracing the latter point of view, producing outright B-movies through his company Bad Robot. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Overlord is a gloriously entertaining piece of B-movie schlock," 9 Nov. 2018 These brands show lingerie on different body types and embrace diversity. Jessica Andrews, Teen Vogue, "Potential Victoria's Secret Fashion Show Plus-Size, Transgender, and Disabled Models Speak Out," 8 Nov. 2018 Despite those trends, Kendall Square, which embraced its more urban context, nearly took off in the ’60s. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "As top innovation hub expands, can straining local infrastructure keep pace?," 6 Nov. 2018 Eulogize your farewells, cosmic warrior — embracing forward motion requires acceptance of the past. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What Your Sign's November Horoscope Predictions Mean for You," 28 Oct. 2018 Fan account, @bellahadidbrasil, posted the adorable video of Bella entering her party with The Weeknd, and the two embracing as her friends scream in excitement. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "A Complete Timeline of Bella Hadid and The Weeknd's Relationship," 12 Oct. 2018 Nintendo has been embracing these seemingly contradictory impulses ever since the explosion of the Switch. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Is Nintendo Planning a Case That Makes Phones Into Game Boys?," 5 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Then there is Trump’s uncritical embrace of President Duterte of the Philippines, who openly threatens journalists with murder (and sends vigilantes to kill thousands of drug-dealer suspects). Trudy Rubin, Philly.com, "After Maryland shooting, Trump must quit embracing autocrats who squash the press | Trudy Rubin," 29 June 2018 Crenshaw and Butler’s combined influence would become foundational to the third wave’s embrace of the fight for trans rights as a fundamental part of intersectional feminism. Constance Grady, Vox, "The waves of feminism, and why people keep fighting over them, explained," 1 June 2018 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

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

18 Nov 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 private place of worship

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