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[verb em-bed; noun em-bed] /verb ɛmˈbɛd; noun ˈɛmˌbɛd/
verb (used with object), embedded, embedding.
to fix into a surrounding mass:
to embed stones in cement.
to surround tightly or firmly; envelop or enclose:
Thick cotton padding embedded the precious vase in its box.
to incorporate or contain as an essential part or characteristic:
A love of color is embedded in all of her paintings.
Histology. to infiltrate (a biological tissue) with molten paraffin or other plastic material that later solidifies, enabling the preparation to be sliced very thin for viewing under a microscope.
Mathematics. to map a set into another set.
Grammar. to insert (a construction, as a phrase or clause) into a larger construction, as a clause or sentence.
to assign (a journalist) to travel with a military unit or a political campaign: The photojournalists were embedded in Afghanistan with U.S. troops.
We've embedded a reporter with each of the presidential candidates.
Digital Technology. to place (text, images, sound, or computer code) in a computer file, HTML document, software program, or electronic device: how to embed videos on your website;
embedded software in cars and airplanes.
verb (used without object), embedded, embedding.
to be or become fixed or incorporated, as into a surrounding mass:
Glass embeds in the soft tar of the road.
a journalist who is embedded with a military unit or a political campaign.
a period of time during which a journalist is embedded.
Also, imbed.
Origin of embed
1770-80; em-1 + bed
Related forms
embedment, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for embedded
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A second bullet smashed another pane and embedded itself in a wall.

    When the Owl Cries Paul Bartlett
  • For floors, a sheet of woven wire is often stretched out and embedded.

    Diggers in the Earth Eva March Tappan
  • embedded in the preface are gems from Ruysbroeck's other writings.

  • In this way a large piece was brought to England embedded in wax.

    El Kab J.E. Quibell
  • In images preceding words, thought and action followed a circular sequence: one was embedded in the other.

British Dictionary definitions for embedded


verb -beds, -bedding, -bedded
(usually foll by in) to fix or become fixed firmly and deeply in a surrounding solid mass: to embed a nail in wood
(transitive) to surround closely: hard rock embeds the roots
(transitive) to fix or retain (a thought, idea, etc) in the mind
(often foll by with) to assign a journalist or be assigned as one to accompany an active military unit
(transitive) (grammar) to insert (a subordinate clause) into a sentence
noun (ˈɪmbɛd)
a journalist accompanying an active military unit
Derived Forms
embedment, noun
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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Contemporary definitions for embedded's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
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Word Origin and History for embedded



1778, from em- + bed (n.). Originally a geological term, in reference to fossils in rock; figurative sense is from 1835; meaning "place a journalist within a military unit at war" is 2003. Related: Embedded; embedding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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