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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Stranger Things’ has been embraced by our peers and The Academy. Libby Hill, latimes.com, "Lin-Manuel Miranda, RuPaul, Tiffany Haddish and more react to Emmy nominations," 12 July 2018 In September of 2017, Melania Trump embarked on her first solo international trip under her husband's administration, a big step for the presidential spouse who has taken her time stepping into the role embraced by most modern first ladies. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "A Brief History of Donald Trump’s Controversial Interactions with the British Royal Family," 9 July 2018 Tracy was deeply embraced by J.P.'s family and is survived by his devoted parents, Jim and Mary Bonini, sister Crissy Rebillard and her husband Billy, and their children Garett and Loren, all of Unionville. courant.com, "Tracy Ellen Bonini," 8 July 2018 Its best-selling and most widely known pair of headphones, the M50x, fit that image perfectly: designed for professional use, but embraced by the wider public. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Audio-Technica R70x review: the definition of neutral headphones," 6 July 2018 Despite noise complaints, the machine was embraced by the elite and even the British royal family. Casey Quackenbush, Time, "Google Doodle Honors the Inventor of the First Powered Vacuum Cleaner Hubert Cecil Booth," 5 July 2018 University of Kansas students and staff can no longer use tobacco or vaping products on school grounds under a new policy pushed by health-conscious students and embraced by administrators looking to stay competitive. Katy Bergen, kansascity, "Say goodbye to smoking, vaping or using tobacco anywhere at KU," 3 July 2018 The Capital and its small staff have been embraced by the journalism community and others, both locally and beyond. Nicholas Bogel-burroughs, baltimoresun.com, "American Society of News Editors calls for global moment of silence to honor Capital Gazette shooting victims," 3 July 2018 It is embraced by some religious and conservative groups, such as the California Family Council and the Pacific Justice Institute, which say the therapy offers an option to people who believe homosexuality and being transgender are immoral. Robbie Short, SFChronicle.com, "‘Conversion therapy’ for gays would be sharply limited under California bill," 1 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Nor have there been noticeable political consequences, though some Republican senators have sharply criticized the administration's embrace of tariffs. Anchorage Daily News, "A new round of proposed Trump tariffs would hit US consumers," 12 July 2018 Wolff likens the consumer interest in photographing Birds in front of graphic walls, and the brand’s own embrace of these images on its feed, to J.Crew’s 2013 Shiny Ponies campaign. Madeline Buxton, refinery29.com, "How Scooters Became A Go-To Instagram Prop — & The Next Transportation Revolution," 12 July 2018 While supporters of the other countries in the United Kingdom — Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland — have generally used their own flags, England fans’ embrace of the red cross of St. George seemed significant. Ceylan Yeginsu, New York Times, "World Cup Brings England Together at a Time of Division," 10 July 2018 But like so many items in the news, this story is now about Trump, which means that Jordan will gain and lose credibility, as the case may be, from POTUS’ embrace. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Believes ‘100 Per Cent’ in Jim Jordan’s Innocence in Sex Abuse Case. That’s Reassuring.," 5 July 2018 In between each embrace are the times my country callously pushed me away. Solomon Jones, Philly.com, "Not everyone in America is free this Fourth of July | Solomon Jones," 3 July 2018 Linda Parker passed into God's embrace after a long illness on June 18, 2018, at the age of 68 years. Hartford Courant, courant.com, "Linda M. Parker," 2 July 2018 When the group of seven breaks into solos and duets, the movement takes on some lyrical fluidity, with luxurious exchanges of weight through lifts and embraces. Karen Campbell, BostonGlobe.com, "A moving ‘Vessel,’ in more ways than one," 29 June 2018 Manuel Oliver, whose son Joaquin was killed in the MSD shooting, arrived to a wave of well-wishers who gripped him in long-lasting embraces. Ben Crandell, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Road to Change Florida gets rolling with hugs and snow cones in Parkland," 22 June 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about embrace

Dictionary Entries near embrace








Statistics for embrace

Last Updated

9 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for embrace

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


to make amends

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!