verb (used with object), em·braced, em·brac·ing.

verb (used without object), em·braced, em·brac·ing.

to join in an embrace.


an act or instance of embracing.

Origin of embrace

1300–50; Middle English < Anglo-French, Old French embracier, equivalent to em- em-1 + bracier to embrace, derivative of brace the two arms; see brace
Related formsem·brace·a·ble, adjectiveem·brace·ment, nounem·brac·er, nounun·em·brace·a·ble, adjective

Synonyms for embrace

Antonyms for embrace



verb (used with object), em·braced, em·brac·ing. Law.

to attempt to influence (a judge or jury) through corrupt means.

Origin of embrace

1400–1450; late Middle English: to influence, prejudice, bribe (a jury), perhaps the same word as embrace1, influenced by embrasen to set on fire (< Middle French embraser; see em-1, braise)
Related formsem·brac·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for embrace

Contemporary Examples of embrace

Historical Examples of embrace

  • He submitted to her embrace, but scarcely spoke, and asked nothing about Corney.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • The feeling provoked by the embrace showed plainly in his next words.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • John struggled out of his Uncle's embrace and turned squarely to face him.

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine

  • When you are free of your cloak, Tony Cross, dismount and let us embrace.

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

  • And under what pretence can you embrace the one, while you reject the other?

British Dictionary definitions for embrace



verb (mainly tr)

(also intr) (of a person) to take or clasp (another person) in the arms, or (of two people) to clasp each other, as in affection, greeting, etc; hug
to accept (an opportunity, challenge, etc) willingly or eagerly
to take up (a new idea, faith, etc); adoptto embrace Judaism
to comprise or include as an integral partgeology embraces the science of mineralogy
to encircle or enclose


the act of embracing
(often plural) euphemistic sexual intercourse
Derived Formsembraceable, adjectiveembracement, nounembracer, noun

Word Origin for embrace

C14: from Old French embracier, from em- + brace a pair of arms, from Latin bracchia arms




(tr) criminal law to commit or attempt to commit embracery against (a jury, etc)

Word Origin for embrace

C15: back formation from embraceor
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 embrace

mid-14c., from Old French embracer (12c., Modern French embrasser) "clasp in the arms, enclose; covet, handle, cope with," from en- "in" (see en- (1)) + brace, braz "the arms," from Latin bracchium (neuter plural brachia); see brace (n.). Related: Embraced; embracing; embraceable. Replaced Old English clyppan, also fæðm.


1590s, from embrace (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper