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

The policy has been embraced by drug makers but resisted by the health insurance industry and pharmacy benefit managers, the middlemen who administer drug benefits. Yasmeen Abutaleb, BostonGlobe.com, "White House abandons plan to eliminate hidden rebates in order to lower drug prices," 11 July 2019 But the hard-left McGovern nonetheless sought to preach a new sort of progressivism rarely embraced by Democrats. Victor Davis Hanson, The Mercury News, "Hanson: Democratic candidates aren’t on a winning track," 5 July 2019 But the hard-left McGovern nonetheless sought to preach a new sort of progressivism rarely embraced by Democrats. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "Democratic Candidates Aren’t on a Winning Track," 4 July 2019 Martin said the group focuses on the blues genre and has been embraced by the blues community. oregonlive.com, "Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland hits special note for special Pacific Northwest group," 4 July 2019 Ollie has a chance to be embraced by the UConn community again. Mike Anthony, courant.com, "Mike Anthony: The NCAA hammered Kevin Ollie; now UConn should settle with him and move on to bright future," 3 July 2019 In fact, a business is embraced by a regular diner over time for its shortcomings with the same energy as the diner would the shop’s successes. SFChronicle.com, "In Oakland’s Laurel District, barbecue’s past collides with its present," 2 July 2019 Jack Hughes talks about his social media presence, wanting to be embraced by New Jersey and his quest to win Stanley Cups. Mike Brehm, USA TODAY, "Phil Kessel traded to Arizona Coyotes; Pittsburgh Penguins get Alex Galchenyuk, cap space," 29 June 2019 The gardens keep him busy, yet also serene, embraced by the peaceful ambiance of Sho-Fu-En. Colleen Smith, The Denver Post, "Denver’s oasis has been tucked away in the Denver Botanic Gardens for 40 years," 29 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And while McMurtry’s loving embrace of the acting craft took in every kind of play — farces and tragedies, contemporary and classic — all roads led back to the Bard. James Hebert, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Remembering Jonathan McMurtry — Old Globe associate artist, teacher and dean of Shakespeare actors in San Diego," 13 July 2019 The controversy involving Mayfield and Jackson heightened following the season's first meeting between the teams, when Jackson appeared to go in for a post-game embrace and Mayfield opted for a handshake. Dave Clark, Cincinnati.com, "Hue Jackson: Time with Cleveland Browns 'was probably some of the best coaching I did'," 12 July 2019 Though more favorable viewing times certainly helped this year —2019 matches in France often enjoyed primetime position on British TV — the surge points to a broader embrace of the women's game. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, "Women's World Cup Final Scores Dutch TV Ratings Record, U.K. Tournament Audience Doubles From 2015," 8 July 2019 The Obama administration’s mandatory rejection of due process — and the academy’s wholesale embrace of fundamentally anti-male ideology — has resulted in one of the more dispiriting illiberal chapters in recent American history. David French, National Review, "Amy Coney Barrett Strikes a Blow against Campus Kangaroo Courts," 2 July 2019 While many point to corporate America’s embrace of LGBTQ inclusivity as a major sign of progress, others believe corporations are coopting the movement. Julie Moreau, NBC News, "For companies, LGBTQ-inclusive ads weren't always risk-free," 29 June 2019 This embrace of Medicare for All while avoiding the language of nationalized health insurance is a balancing act that many of the Democrats have started to try. Time Staff, Time, "10 Things We Learned About 2020 From the Democratic Debates," 28 June 2019 But what environmentalists see as the start of a new and dangerous assault on the Amazonian ecosystem is being hailed as a belated embrace of progress by Bolsonaro backers. Anthony Faiola, Washington Post, "The price of ‘progress’ in the Amazon," 28 June 2019 This embrace of high-tech surveillance comes as casino operators jostle for growth in a slowing industry that’s under pressure globally from economic head winds and regulatory scrutiny. Jinshan Hong, latimes.com, "China’s casinos use these tools to spot and track the biggest potential losers," 28 June 2019

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

15 Jul 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

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