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

The biggest political story of 2019 is that Democrats are embracing policies that include government control of ever-larger chunks of the private American economy. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Who’s Afraid of Socialism?," 6 Feb. 2019 Call it a domino effect: ever since fashion labels have begun embracing fur-free collections, celebrities have been spotted wearing more and more faux fur pieces, too. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Bella Hadid Does Faux Fur the Supermodel Way," 6 Feb. 2019 Since publishing his controversial paper, Avi Loeb has run a nearly nonstop media circuit, embracing the celebrity that comes from being perhaps the most academically distinguished E.T. enthusiast of his time. Avi Selk, The Seattle Times, "Harvard’s top astronomer says an alien ship may be among us – and he doesn’t care what his colleagues think," 4 Feb. 2019 The Japanese government has been embracing all kinds of novel security ideas for the upcoming games, including widespread facial recognition technology. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Japan Is Going to Start Hacking Its Citizens," 29 Jan. 2019 To finish the basically perfect performance, Cooper joined Lady Gaga on her piano stool, and the pair embraced. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Bradley Cooper Just Joined Lady Gaga Onstage in Vegas & Their Chemistry Was Unreal," 27 Jan. 2019 Magnificent monitors Nvidia embracing FreeSync alone is a momentous shift and a major milestone for PC gamers. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "6 important CES 2019 reveals and trends that PC enthusiasts need to know about," 11 Jan. 2019 When Ashley Graham Had a Family Group Chat About Her Bush The Rise of Acne Positivity More women embraced their breakouts in 2018, including Kendall Jenner, who hit the Golden Globes red carpet with perfectly imperfect skin. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "24 Social Media Moments That Literally Made 2018," 26 Dec. 2018 Maybe the answer heading into 2019 is to learn from Jenner, and just embrace the silence. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "Kylie Jenner returned as online queen in 2018 after disappearing for nearly a year," 21 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The embrace of fashion by athletes such as LeBron James has also helped give many men permission to try bolder looks, top stylists say. Ray A. Smith, WSJ, "Who Is He Wearing? Male Stars Take Red-Carpet Fashion Risks," 2 Jan. 2019 Three travellers left the embrace of our world entirely to go somewhere so unlike Earth, and yet with a history so deeply intertwined with our planet’s. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "Why Apollo 8 Mattered," 21 Dec. 2018 But the first lady, white hat and all, refused to return the embrace. Beatrice Dupuy, Teen Vogue, "Emmanuel Macron's Visit With President Donald Trump Was Full of Awkward Moments," 26 Apr. 2018 After a warm embrace, Harry brought over Meghan to meet her, and Dunne congratulated them both on the baby. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "The Most Touching Moments from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Australian Tour," 21 Oct. 2018 Hurricane Florence reaches the Northeast; Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in embrace in Pyongyang. Jennie Neufeld, Vox, "Vox Sentences: Florence’s flooding continues," 19 Sep. 2018 The problems at the Northlake camp also may underscore unease, particularly at the federal level, with Seattle’s strong embrace of tiny-house villages in response to the city’s nearly 3-year-old declared state of emergency on homelessness. Vianna Davila, The Seattle Times, "Tiny-home villages are a key part of Seattle’s homeless strategy. So why did one village lack case management for three months?," 16 July 2018 And the Kremlin’s embrace of proxy forces in recent years has opened the door to freelancing from other power centers, like security agencies or the country’s military intelligence, which may not share their plans in detail. Ellen Barry And David E. Sanger, New York Times, "Poisoned Door Handle Hints at High-Level Plot to Kill Spy, U.K. Officials Say," 1 Apr. 2018 Those creative differences, though, don't seem to have tripped up their embrace in other parts of the geek galaxy. Michael Cavna, chicagotribune.com, "'Creative differences' affect films from 'Solo' to 'Deadpool,' but franchises soldier on," 28 Mar. 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

11 Feb 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).


to express emotion in a dramatic way

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