em·​bed | \im-ˈbed \
variants: or less commonly
embedded also imbedded; embedding also imbedding; embeds also imbeds

Definition of embed 

transitive verb

1a : to enclose closely in or as if in a matrix fossils embedded in stone

b : to make something an integral part of the prejudices embedded in our language

c : to prepare (a microscopy specimen) for sectioning by infiltrating with and enclosing in a supporting substance

d : to insert (a media file, such as a graphic, video, or audio clip) into a computer document (as on a website or in an e-mail) Marketers embed advertisements in subscription mailing-list messages to reach target audiences.— Matthew Mills The company… lets users embed video and audio attachments in E-mail messages.— Matt Richtel

2a : to attach (a journalist) to a military unit for the purpose of covering a conflict Ever since the American-led invasion of Iraq last year, when hundreds of journalists were embedded with military units, people in media circles have been debating whether journalists lose their professional detachment under such circumstances and begin to identify too closely with the troops they are covering.— Robert D. Kaplan

b : to attach (someone) to a group (such as a military unit or government agency) for the purpose of advising, training, or treating its members Implementation of the plan to embed behavior specialists at the brigade level will result in 50 positions being staffed between now and 2013.— Philip Grey Dr. Dawdy … is one of the more unusual relief workers among the thousands who have come to the devastated expanses of Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. She is officially embedded with the Federal Emergency Management Agency as a liaison to the state's historic preservation office.— John Schwartz

3 : to surround closely a sweet pulp embeds the plum seed

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from embed

embedment \ im-​ˈbed-​mənt \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for embed


bed, enroot, entrench (also intrench), fix, impact, implant, ingrain (also engrain), lodge, root


dislodge, root (out), uproot

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of embed in a Sentence

embed a post in concrete the nails were solidly embedded in those old plaster walls

Recent Examples on the Web

So all of these analyses favoring these types of frameworks have embedded in them: There is no expectation that the bank will not follow through on this. Nick Timiraos, WSJ, "Transcript: WSJ Interview With Chicago Fed President Charles Evans," 11 July 2018 As long as you're logged into Facebook in your browser, the code embedded in the Share button registers your arrival. David Nield, WIRED, "All the Ways iOS 12 Will Make Your iPhone More Secure," 8 July 2018 In the past, materials scientists have embedded light-absorbing films in window glass. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "Skyscrapers could soon generate their own power, thanks to see-through solar cells," 28 June 2018 For these and other reasons, Annie kept her away from her son, but grandma was embedded in the life of daughter Charlie (Milly Shapiro), the one member of the family who truly mourns. Gary Thompson, Philly.com, "'Hereditary': Toni Collette is the main attraction of this old school horror movie layered thick with original ideas," 6 June 2018 In many ways, pets can embed products into their feed without being deemed a sellout — their cuteness shines through. Saryn Chorney, PEOPLE.com, "How to Make Your Pet Instagram-Famous — and Get Paid Doing It," 30 May 2018 The student will embed with that teacher for a year of classroom experience that Marian officials say goes beyond the traditional student teaching experience. Arika Herron, Indianapolis Star, "How Marian University is working to help solve the teaching shortage," 9 Apr. 2018 Air tanks were stashed along the muddy passageways, enough for the 12 boys, their coach, the four SEALs who had embedded with them, and the 18 divers who would carry them out. Shibani Mahtani, Washington Post, "‘Time is running out’: Inside the treacherous rescue of boys trapped in a Thai cave," 13 July 2018 Your shorts will be embedded into your skin and would have to be pulled out. Carol Marbin Miller, miamiherald, "A painful reunion at school of horror," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'embed.' 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 embed

circa 1794, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about embed

Statistics for embed

Last Updated

2 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for embed

The first known use of embed was circa 1794

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for embed



English Language Learners Definition of embed

: to place or set (something) firmly in something else


em·​bed | \im-ˈbed\
embedded; embedding

Kids Definition of embed

: to enclose in or as if in a surrounding substance Workers embedded the posts in concrete.

variants: also imbed \ im-​ˈbed \
embedded also imbedded; embedding also imbedding

Medical Definition of embed 

: to prepare (a microscopy specimen) for sectioning by infiltrating with and enclosing in a supporting substance

Other Words from embed

embedment \ -​ˈbed-​mənt \ noun

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on embed

What made you want to look up embed? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something that serves to warn or remind

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!