[em-baws, -bos]

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 formsem·boss·a·ble, adjectiveem·boss·er, nounem·boss·ment, nounun·em·bossed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for embossed

etch, decorate, adorn, stamp, carve, impress, punch, sculpt

Examples from the Web for embossed

Contemporary Examples of embossed

Historical Examples of embossed

  • 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

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 Formsembosser, nounembossment, noun

Word Origin for emboss

C14: from Old French embocer, from em- + boce boss ²
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 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