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 formsre·em·bark, verb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for embarking

enter, commence, launch, board, entrain, emplane

Examples from the Web for embarking

Contemporary Examples of embarking

Historical Examples of embarking

  • 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)
(intr; usually foll by on or upon) to commence or engage (in) a new project, venture, etc
Derived Formsembarkation, nounembarkment, noun

Word Origin for embark

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

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