v. em·braced, em·brac·ing, em·brac·es
1. To clasp or hold close with the arms, usually as an expression of affection.
2. To surround or enclose: "the bold chalk ridge that embraces the prominences of Hambledon Hill" (Thomas Hardy).
3. To include or contain as part of something broader. See Synonyms at include.
4. To adopt or support willingly or eagerly: embrace a social cause.
5. To avail oneself of: "I only regret, in my chilled age, certain occasions and possibilities I didn't embrace" (Henry James).
To join in an embrace.
1. An act of holding close with the arms, usually as an expression of affection; a hug.
2. An enclosure or encirclement: caught in the jungle's embrace.
3. Eager acceptance: his embrace of socialism.
[Middle English embracen, from Old French embracer : en-, in; see EN-1 + brace, the two arms; see BRACE.]
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.