em·​brace | \ im-ˈbrās How to pronounce embrace (audio) \
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 How to pronounce embraceable (audio) \ adjective
embracement \ im-​ˈbrās-​mənt How to pronounce embracement (audio) \ noun
embracer noun
embracingly \ im-​ˈbrā-​siŋ-​lē How to pronounce embracingly (audio) \ 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

Although she is based in New York, a city known for embracing all black looks, Mar encourages people to experiment with lighter colors. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Look Is Money: How Fashion Influencers Get Dressed," 3 May 2019 Whatever the case, Dua Lipa has decided to embrace the bizarre experience with gusto. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Can You Figure Out What Dua Lipa’s Madame Tussauds Wax Figure Is Wearing?," 9 Apr. 2019 Optane Memory caching SSDs, the company has finally decided to embrace the processors that could appreciate the technology’s benefits the most. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Intel's Optane Memory finally supports Celeron and Pentium budget PCs that need the most boost," 1 Apr. 2019 Although Cooke's father, James Maroney, was once a leading figure in the art world, serving as the Head of American Paintings at both Christie’s and Sotheby’s, his parents decided to embrace a rural lifestyle when Cooke was young. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Get to Know Cooke Maroney, Jennifer Lawrence's New Fiancé," 6 Feb. 2019 We’re primarily embraced as an entertainment brand. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "Here’s why Netflix has no interest in live TV," 9 Oct. 2018 The singer is no stranger to embracing a more natural approach to beauty. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Beyoncé Embraces Her Natural Curls in a Showstopping Way," 28 Apr. 2019 Here's to hoping that the two are open to publicly embracing their relationship offline as well. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Cara Delevingne and Ashley Benson Share a Rare PDA Moment on Instagram," 6 Mar. 2019 This tendency seems fitting for a twosome whose bond was built on an unexpected connection, and for whom embracing the new and never-seen-before is second nature. Shoko Wanger, House Beautiful, "This Woman-Run Studio Designs Gorgeous Restaurants You’ll Want to Call Home," 13 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

For the uninitiated, that’s the ironic, enthusiastic embrace of Western Americana happening online and IRL. Eric Ray Davidson, Glamour, "Kacey Musgraves Isn’t Trying to Please Anybody but Herself," 28 Mar. 2019 The nascent environmental movement, the founding of Earth Day, and the energy crisis created by the OPEC embargo, made an embrace of lower-emission rail and bus service both a practical and progressive stance. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Public transit’s missed opportunity," 20 Nov. 2018 In 2015 Moonves spoke at the Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony for Julianna Margulies and was snapped hugging her in an emotional embrace. Leora Arnowitz, Fox News, "Les Moonves' powerful A-list pals: From George Clooney to Kaley Cuoco," 28 July 2018 Instagram on Tuesday unveiled Checkout, a new feature that lets users make purchases inside the app without the annoyance of ever leaving Facebook's warm embrace. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Instagram's New Shopping Feature Makes it Easier Than Ever to Never Leave Facebook," 20 Mar. 2019 The embrace seen ’round the world happened Monday, March 11, during a Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey in London. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton Hugged Today, Just FYI," 11 Mar. 2019 Twitter’s re-embrace of live tweets gives me hope that the company will continue to elevate real-time features across the platform. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Twitter is relaunching the reverse-chronological feed as an option for all users starting today," 18 Dec. 2018 This is partly due to the country’s embrace of sustainable tourism, which encourages development. Mary Holland, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why Your Next Safari Should Be in Namibia," 6 Nov. 2018 Justin Haskins: Democrats' embrace of socialism may win primary elections -- but look out in November. Fox News, "FOX NEWS FIRST: Three states declare emergency ahead of Hurricane Florence; Pence to 'Anonymous': Resign now," 10 Sep. 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

20 May 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 How to pronounce embrace (audio) \
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).


showing great care, attention, and effort

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