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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for embarks
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • So he embarks upon a task which he can never hope to complete.

    The Book-Hunter at Home P. B. M. Allan
  • He who embarks goods; also mentioned in some of our statutes as the master of a ship.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • Having saved some capital, she embarks on a down-town tea room.

    The Canadian Girl at Work Marjory MacMurchy
  • He embarks on self-justification—a thing one should never do.

    It Never Can Happen Again

    William De Morgan
  • The ship was quickly ready, he embarks the chest in the ship, and they set out.

    Basque Legends Wentworth Webster
British Dictionary definitions for embarks


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 embarks



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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