Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To saturate.
  • transitive verb To stain.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To wet or moisten; soak; drench in a fluid, now especially in blood; bedabble.
  • To soak into, as a fluid, especially blood.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To wet or moisten; to soak; to drench, especially in blood.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To stain (in, with, blood, slaughter, etc.).

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

  • verb permeate or impregnate

Etymologies

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

[Middle English embrewen, from Old French embreuver, from Vulgar Latin *imbiberāre : Latin in-, in; see in– + Late Latin biber, beverage (from Latin bibere, to drink; see beverage).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French embruer, from Germanic.

Examples

  • Honest men abhor, villains treat me with contumely; and he for who I incurred all this, because I would not, when my eyes were open to my sin, again imbrue my hands in the blood of my country, Edward thrusts me from him!

    The Scottish Chiefs

  • Their first offence, the attack of Zara, had been severely punished by the reproach of their conscience and the censures of the pope; nor would they again imbrue their hands in the blood of their fellow-Christians.

    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

  • You tear citizens from the state, who might one day serve it; you imbrue yourself in innocent blood, and are more cruel than cannibals.

    A Philosophical Dictionary

  • To enlarge a little upon this subject, May we not infer, that those who would be guilty of throwing these contempts upon a man of temper, who would rather pass by a verbal injury, than to imbrue his hands in blood, know not the measure of true magnanimity? nor how much nobler it is to forgive, and even how much more manly to despise, than to resent, an injury?

    Clarissa Harlowe

  • Should I employ the force which Heaven has lent me, I might imbrue my hands in blood, and after all find it impossible to escape through a number of successive doors, locks, bolts, and sentinels.

    The Life and Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves

  • It was a barbarous thought, that they should not touch his life, if they did not imbrue their hands in his blood; since it was a kind of death, not less violent, which they wished to inflict by hunger.

    Commentary on Genesis - Volume 2

  • And herein also is the polity of the dragon derived to the false prophet, and a colour tempered for persecutors to imbrue their hands in the blood of martyrs.

    The Sermons of John Owen

  • Briars thrown in his Way, and with Intrepidity if need requires, even imbrue his Hands in his opposers Blood, and make a Dagger with Blindfolded Eyes, force

    John Adams diary 13, 1 March - 31 December 1766, March 1767

  • All sang the song of war, and burning with impatience to imbrue their hands in the blood of their enemies, rushed down among innocent and defenceless families on the frontiers of Carolina, where men, women and children, without distinction, fell a sacrifice to their merciless fury.

    An Historical Account of the Rise and Progress of the Colonies of South Carolina and Georgia, Volume 2

  • He thought to imbrue his hands with your heart's blood.

    The Seven Plays in English Verse

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