Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To clasp or hold close with the arms, usually as an expression of affection.
  • transitive v. To surround; enclose: We allowed the warm water to embrace us.
  • transitive v. To twine around: a trellis that was embraced by vines.
  • transitive v. To include as part of something broader. See Synonyms at include.
  • transitive v. To take up willingly or eagerly: embrace a social cause.
  • transitive v. To avail oneself of: "I only regret, in my chilled age, certain occasions and possibilities I didn't embrace” ( Henry James).
  • intransitive v. To join in an embrace.
  • n. An act of holding close with the arms, usually as an expression of affection; a hug.
  • n. An enclosure or encirclement: caught in the jungle's embrace.
  • n. Eager acceptance: your embrace of Catholicism.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. hug, put arms around.
  • v. enfold, include (ideas, principles, etc.).
  • n. hug (noun); putting arms around someone.
  • n. enfolding, including.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Intimate or close encircling with the arms; pressure to the bosom; clasp; hug.
  • intransitive v. To join in an embrace.
  • transitive v. To fasten on, as armor.
  • transitive v. To clasp in the arms with affection; to take in the arms; to hug.
  • transitive v. To cling to; to cherish; to love.
  • transitive v. To seize eagerly, or with alacrity; to accept with cordiality; to welcome.
  • transitive v. To encircle; to encompass; to inclose.
  • transitive v. To include as parts of a whole; to comprehend; to take in.
  • transitive v. To accept; to undergo; to submit to.
  • transitive v. To attempt to influence corruptly, as a jury or court.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To take, grasp, clasp, or infold in the arms; used absolutely, to press to the bosom, as in token of affection; hug; clip.
  • To inclose; encompass; contain; encircle.
  • Figuratively, to take.
  • To receive or accept, though unwillingly; accept as inevitable.
  • To comprehend; include or take in; comprise: as, natural philosophy embraces many sciences.
  • 5 To hold; keep possession of; sway.
  • To throw a protecting arm around; shield.
  • In botany, to clasp with the base: as, a leaf embracing the stem.
  • In zoology, to lie closely in contact with (another part), imperfectly surrounding it.
  • To join in an embrace.
  • In law, to attempt to influence corruptly, as a court or jury, by threats, bribes, promises, services, or entertainments, or by any means other than evidence or open argument.
  • n. An inclosure or clasp with the arms; specifically, a pressure to the bosom with the arms; an embracement; a hug.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the state of taking in or encircling
  • v. include in scope; include as part of something broader; have as one's sphere or territory
  • v. take up the cause, ideology, practice, method, of someone and use it as one's own
  • n. the act of clasping another person in the arms (as in greeting or affection)
  • n. a close affectionate and protective acceptance
  • v. squeeze (someone) tightly in your arms, usually with fondness

Etymologies

Middle English embracen, from Old French embracer : en-, in; see en-1 + brace, the two arms; see brace.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English embracen, from Old French embracier, equivalent to em- +‎ brace. Influenced by Middle English umbracen ("to stretch out over, cover, engulf"), from um- ("around") + bracen ("to brace"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • But I'd rather the label embrace the video so I don't have to go sneaking around from site to site.

    Ask Pud

  • I prefer to use the word "embrace" rather than "buy-in," a more commonly used word synonymous with change efforts.

    Eric Sheninger: An Open Letter to School Leaders

  • And if any one would have this term embrace the ceremony [of the Mass], we readily concede it, provided he neither understands the ceremony alone, nor teaches that the ceremony profits _ex opere operato_.

    Apology of the Augsburg Confession

  • Most of the time – in fact, pretty much all the time – that "embrace" is an abstraction.

    Oh Cultured Capitol | ATTACKERMAN

  • The "embrace" is not for those who disagree about the moral character of homosexual acts and the charade of transgendered manipulations, but for those, like President Obama, who celebrate homosexuality as a worthy equal to heterosexuality (or is it better than heterosexuality??), who insist the only criteria for marriage is "love" (which, for male homosexuals, changes focus often).

    A couple of thoughts about Obama's "Hey, You're Gay, Hurray!" Day

  • That kind of embrace is pretty damn suspicious, especially nowadays.

    07/21/2005

  • While the party could again embrace Rick Lazio, the former congressman defeated by Mr. Paladino in the gubernatorial primary, or Harry Wilson, who lost a close race for state comptroller, the Republican bench looks bare.

    Paladino's Influence Up in Air

  • In any case, I regard the embrace from the left as mostly, merely strategic on its part.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » No Righteous Gentile Awards, Please

  • I have further said that not all of those people believe what they embrace is "good."

    A Pat on the Back for Matzke

  • I think that the part of his argument that I really embrace is the fact that government is really encouraging everything to act like a business to look where they can get the lowest possible cost for everything and make the maximum possible profits for the few.

    Writer Debunks The 'Great Education Myth'

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Comments

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  • "Successful retailers will embrace new communication and marketing models to respond to market segment preferences and ensure in-store customer experiences provide a differentiated value proposition relative to alternative emerging retail channels."
    - Rodney Baurycza, marketing director of Telstra.

    July 6, 2008