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
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

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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

Verb 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. Noun He held her in a warm embrace.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The 60-and-up workforce increasingly will be reluctant to work anywhere but from home and will be very slow to re-embrace grocery shopping. Bruce Horovitz, USA TODAY, "What a post-vaccine world looks like for seniors: It's time to learn telemed. Oh, and how you travel will change.," 1 Aug. 2020 For this reason—and also because naps can feel luxurious and pleasurable—my position is that folks should embrace naps more widely. Patia Braithwaite, SELF, "How to Take a Nap That’s Actually Restful and Doesn’t Mess With Your Sleep," 30 July 2020 Nothing grows except The Bluest Eye and a special shot of Pecola which flies over very quickly because no one can really embrace the fear and hatred. Ew Staff, EW.com, "Read Nikki Giovanni's poetic tribute to friend Toni Morrison in The Last Interview excerpt," 7 July 2020 Hayden expressed dismay that Republican senators would not embrace meaningful reform even on grounds of fiscal responsibility: police brutality costs taxpayers millions. Krithika Varagur, The New York Review of Books, "Pulling Down ‘the Wall of No’ on Police Reform in Minneapolis," 26 June 2020 Erin then asked that fans not worry about her decision, and instead embrace the change. Hannah Chubb, PEOPLE.com, "HGTV’s Erin Napier Is ‘Turning Off’ Instagram Comments Until 2021 After Calling Out Trolls," 10 July 2020 However, after Donald Trump upset Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, West became one of the few icons in the Hip-Hop community to embrace him. Siraj Hashmi, Washington Examiner, "2020 countdown: the Kanye West presidentialfest," 9 July 2020 On July 1, New York chose to embrace the guidance of public health and medical professionals and paused the plan to re-open indoor dining. Joshua Austin Acklin, Scientific American, "New Yorkers Flattened the Curve, but ...," 9 July 2020 Seeing Doumbouya embrace a larger role in this year’s summer league, both on the court and as a leader off of it, would’ve been a major step in his development as a basketball player. Omari Sankofa Ii, Detroit Free Press, "What Detroit Pistons are missing during Summer League: A question for each major player," 9 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In the sign of altruistic Aquarius, this moon, according to astrologer Lisa Stardust, is asking us to seek justice and embrace change. Elizabeth Gulino, refinery29.com, "August’s Full Moon In Aquarius Is All About Justice," 3 Aug. 2020 Broadway is constantly accused of abandoning its storied, artistic past in a current embrace of filthy lucre. Author: Elizabeth L. Wollman, Anchorage Daily News, "Five myths about Broadway," 11 July 2020 Never have the symbolic and the actual been in such a close and crushing embrace. David Treuer, The New York Review of Books, "The Magic Mountains of the Acoma Pueblo and Thomas Mann," 6 July 2020 While there have been partisan splits over how to address unauthorized immigration and overhaul the country’s immigration system, historically there has been a bipartisan embrace of naturalization. Miriam Jordan, BostonGlobe.com, "Pandemic delays US citizenship for thousands," 17 June 2020 Rivera's last post on Instagram was a close-up snapshot of her and her little boy sharing a sweet embrace and a smooch, shared one day before her disappearance. Jen Juneau, PEOPLE.com, "Everything Naya Rivera Said About Being a Mom to Son Josey, 4½, Before Her Death," 13 July 2020 Voting rights experts commended Kentucky's embrace of vote-by-mail but said the state reduced in-person voting sites too dramatically. Joey Garrison, USA TODAY, "'A substantial challenge': What Kentucky, New York tell us about voting in a pandemic come November," 24 June 2020 But many of the film’s critics have slammed the movie’s failure to address consent, with some noting that Laura’s eventual embrace of Massimo resembles Stockholm syndrome. Washington Post, "Unpacking the controversy around ‘365 Days,’ the erotic thriller with scathing reviews and a huge following," 9 July 2020 But Texas required Thursday that most residents wear masks in public places, part of a broader embrace of face masks in recent days. Keith Bradsher, BostonGlobe.com, "China dominates medical supplies, and that’s not likely to change anytime soon," 6 July 2020

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 entry 2

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Time Traveler for embrace

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for embrace

Last Updated

5 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Embrace.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/embrace. Accessed 15 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for embrace


How to pronounce embrace (audio)

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

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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