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[em-baws, -bos] /ɛmˈbɔs, -ˈbɒs/
verb (used with object)
to raise or represent (surface designs) in relief.
to decorate (a surface) with raised ornament.
Metalworking. to raise a design on (a blank) with dies of similar pattern, one the negative of the other.
Compare coin (def 10).
to cause to bulge out; make protuberant.
Origin of emboss
1350-1400; Middle English embosen < Middle French embocer, equivalent to em- em-1 + boce boss2
Related forms
embossable, adjective
embosser, noun
embossment, noun
unembossed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for embossed
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The walls are hung with blue Florentine silk, embossed in silver.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • Breaking it open she drew out an embossed and gilded card—a ticket.

    The Free Lances Mayne Reid
  • Then it would take a turn at embossed tin lids for candy boxes.

    The Good Soldier Ford Madox Ford
  • His brother remained engrossed with the embossed head of Medusa.

  • The room in which he was standing was furnished in embossed leather.

    At the Time Appointed A. Maynard Barbour
  • The legs and the nose shall be embossed with porcupine quills.

    Indian Child Life Charles A. Eastman
  • Stamped and embossed work of metal; also sheets of metal applied or inlaid.

    History of Ancient Art Franz von Reber
British Dictionary definitions for embossed


having a moulded or carved decoration or design on the surface so that it is raised above the surface in low relief


to mould or carve (a decoration or design) on (a surface) so that it is raised above the surface in low relief
to cause to bulge; make protrude
Derived Forms
embosser, noun
embossment, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French embocer, from em- + boceboss²
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 embossed



late 14c., from Old French *embocer (cf. embocieure "boss, stud, buckle"), from em- (see en- (1)) + boce "knoblike mass" (see boss (n.2)). Related: Embossed; embossing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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