em·bed (ĕm-bĕd) also im·bed (ĭm-)
v. em·bed·ded, em·bed·ding, em·beds also im·bed·ded or im·bed·ding or im·beds
1. To fix firmly in a surrounding mass: embed a post in concrete; fossils embedded in shale.
a. To cause to be an integral part of a surrounding whole: "a minor accuracy embedded in a larger untruth" (Ian Jack).
b. Linguistics To insert or position (a clause or phrase) within a clause or phrase.
c. Computers To insert (a virus, for example) into a software program.
3. To assign (a journalist) to travel with a military unit during an armed conflict.
4. Biology To enclose (a specimen) in a supporting material before sectioning for microscopic examination.
To become embedded: The harpoon struck but did not embed.
One that is embedded, especially a journalist who is assigned to an active military unit.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.