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[em-bahrk] /ɛmˈbɑrk/
verb (used without object)
to board a ship, aircraft, or other vehicle, as for a journey.
to start an enterprise, business, etc.
verb (used with object)
to put or receive on board a ship, aircraft, or other vehicle.
to involve (someone) in an enterprise.
to venture or invest (something) in an enterprise.
Origin of embark
1540-50; < Middle French embarquer < Spanish embarcar, equivalent to em- em-1 + -barcar, verbal derivative of barca bark3
Related forms
reembark, verb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for embarking
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I am glad that public decency is not to be outraged by their embarking together.

  • You would have thought he was embarking at the regularly appointed rendezvous.

    The Forest Stewart Edward White
  • Caius was put on shore there to await the hour of embarking.

    The Mermaid

    Lily Dougall
  • Men were embarking in the other vehicles; and the blended noise from them floated in to us.

    The White Invaders Raymond King Cummings
  • “The rest will have no difficulty in embarking, I hope,” observed the surgeon.

    The Three Commanders W.H.G. Kingston
British Dictionary definitions for embarking


to board (a ship or aircraft)
(intransitive; usually foll by on or upon) to commence or engage (in) a new project, venture, etc
Derived Forms
embarkation, noun
embarkment, noun
Word Origin
C16: via French from Old Provençal embarcar, from em- + barca boat, barque
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for embarking



1540s, from Middle French embarquer, from em- (see en- (1)) + barque "small ship" (see bark (n.)). Related: Embarked; embarking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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