Definition of embrace in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Hold (someone) closely in one's arms, especially as a sign of affection.

    ‘Aunt Sophie embraced her warmly’
    no object ‘the two embraced, holding each other tightly’
    • ‘Then two or three men together seized hold of him and embraced him, until gradually he became calm.’
    • ‘She smiled warmly at me and stood to embrace me with a hug.’
    • ‘But that only reminded her that Jared was the last person to embrace her.’
    • ‘She kissed her cousin's wife warmly on the cheek and embraced her.’
    • ‘He stepped toward Ralph for a hug but before he could even put up his arms Ralph had grabbed him and embraced him tightly.’
    • ‘She suddenly let all the tears in her eyes trickle out, and she embraced him closely.’
    • ‘Lastly, she came to Noella, smiling warmly and embracing her in much the same way.’
    • ‘He was a very sparkling, mercurial personality, quick to embrace you, as well as to criticize if I felt that something wasn't right.’
    • ‘He said the person then started to embrace him while reaching for his wallet.’
    • ‘I have come to appreciate warm people who embrace you just because they're happy to see you.’
    • ‘The person embracing him held him hard and started to smile.’
    • ‘He dropped the duffle bag he was carrying and embraced her warmly, burying his face in her hair.’
    • ‘When she saw me, she dropped her call and embraced me warmly.’
    • ‘Men and women around her rose spontaneously from their seats, embraced her warmly and wept for joy.’
    • ‘He immediately stood up and rushed towards his friend, embracing him warmly.’
    • ‘Jordan looked at her friend for a moment before embracing her closely, Madison sobbing into Jordan's shirt.’
    • ‘The person embracing me walked over to the other side of the table and sat down.’
    • ‘In private the couple is openly affectionate, but when he tries to embrace her in public, she often turns to the side and they bump noses.’
    • ‘However, the man made the sign of the cross, embraced him to give him courage, and ascended.’
    • ‘She first heads over to Rena, who embraces her warmly despite the fact that she just saw her only a few hours ago.’
    hug, hold in one's arms, take in one's arms, hold, cuddle, clasp to one's bosom, clasp, squeeze, clutch, seize, grab
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  • 2Accept or support (a belief, theory, or change) willingly and enthusiastically.

    ‘besides traditional methods, artists are embracing new technology’
    • ‘Baker's inclusive programming embraces his belief in the need for the Citadel to be an active part of its community.’
    • ‘Commission members, however, know Washington is not a city keen on embracing dramatic change.’
    • ‘The story is no prettier in states where the death penalty is even more enthusiastically embraced.’
    • ‘Much has changed in photography over the last 50 years and the club has readily embraced these changes.’
    • ‘Businesses, however need to be outward looking, objective and willing to embrace change.’
    • ‘Far be it from me, though, to accuse other people of inconsistency when it's a quality I embrace so enthusiastically myself.’
    • ‘Few readers today could endorse the kind of self-repression he accepted and embraced.’
    • ‘However, this hasn't stopped the various media outlets from enthusiastically embracing the Rugby World Cup.’
    • ‘Or will we wait for the public sector (famous for its willingness to embrace change rapidly) to simply drive demand?’
    • ‘Its articles, uniformly excellent and insightful, accept, even embrace, controversy.’
    • ‘The hype associated with this album suggests that the reason the Chieftains have been able to survive for so long is their willingness to embrace change.’
    • ‘If energy enthusiasts wish to embrace vitalism, who are we sceptics to snatch it away from them?’
    • ‘The theory of constructivism embraces learning opportunities within the practice setting because they have been proven to promote knowledge-building.’
    • ‘He embraces the theory but not the name of the theory.’
    • ‘The major focus of the book is showing how traditional library skills and a willingness to embrace change can aid you in solving technical problems.’
    • ‘The Falcons remain well supported, some fans may even have embraced the changes.’
    • ‘That belief, if widely embraced, would make this book unnecessary, false, or both.’
    • ‘They have framed the problems in such a way that their proposed way of solving becomes accepted / embraced.’
    • ‘Maybe we will benefit beyond belief in embracing some of these valuable philosophies and using them in practical solutions for all our welfare.’
    • ‘The Native peoples have traditionally embraced the belief that all is interdependent.’
    welcome, accept, receive enthusiastically, receive wholeheartedly, take up, take to one's heart, receive with open arms, welcome with open arms, adopt
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  • 3Include or contain (something) as a constituent part.

    ‘his career embraces a number of activities—composing, playing, and acting’
    • ‘The festival embraces various strands of the arts including music, theatre, dance, film, comedy, literature and family entertainment.’
    • ‘This message embraces all creations, including the unborn.’
    • ‘Paganism, which embraces a variety of groups including Druids, witches and followers of the Viking god Odin, is one of the fastest growing religions in the UK.’
    • ‘The VW Group embraces a raft of automotive brands including Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini, Skoda and SEAT.’
    • ‘Damian's career has embraced a plethora of characters and he's adamant that he doesn't have an ideal role.’
    • ‘He said the new round of WTO trade talks has to be a practical and comprehensive round that embraces all industries.’
    • ‘Catholics believe that the full and right ordering of the Church embraces seven sacraments, including the apostolic and sacramentally ordained ministry.’
    • ‘His stellar career embraces comedy and drama and crosses media from television and movies to the stage and the recording arts.’
    • ‘The Sedentary Phase embraces a range of local and regional cultures, including Pueblo Culture.’
    • ‘But he added his own insistence that nature embraces all aspects of life, including values.’
    • ‘During his career, Hughes would embrace every genre and his work would define as well as interpret the black experience.’
    • ‘Javanese dance theatre embraces many different genres, including wayang wong, which features the use of puppets, wayang topéng which uses masks, and langendria which is a form of dance opera.’
    • ‘It is not easy work to classify since it embraces many fields and involves many collaborators, from traditional craftsmen to architects, and because he does not actually make anything himself.’
    • ‘A simple form taxon, such as Chuaria circularis, may embrace a polyphyletic array of organisms that includes cyanobacteria as well as protists.’
    • ‘Callaghan's political career thus embraced the entire experience of post-war Labourism.’
    include, take in, cover, involve, take into account, contain, comprise, incorporate, encompass, encapsulate, embody, subsume, comprehend
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  • 1An act of holding someone closely in one's arms.

    ‘they were locked in an embrace’
    • ‘She seems hesitant, but warms to the embrace and his deeper kisses.’
    • ‘Instead he pulled me to him, surrounded me in his embrace, and let me cry.’
    • ‘Before she could comprehend it, his lips were on hers, and she was locked in his embrace.’
    • ‘They gently went down on their knees, still locked in their embrace.’
    • ‘Her mother cried out, and gave her a deep embrace.’
    • ‘Picture the happiness of all those surrounding the lost boy who came home-their warm embraces, their words of welcome and gratitude for his safe return.’
    • ‘Cassandra smiled and snuggled deeper into his embrace, wanting to enjoy the little time they had together before she was sent back to the city.’
    • ‘I heard a soft sigh come from my own lips before his lips descended upon me and we locked in an embrace.’
    • ‘I closed my eyes and buried myself deeper within his embrace.’
    • ‘A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.’
    • ‘There is a moment of recognition and reconciliation before the boat overturns, and both, locked in a final embrace, are drowned.’
    • ‘I wrapped my arms tighter around her as she burrowed deeper in my embrace.’
    • ‘Jack was the first to pull away from their deep embrace.’
    • ‘An hour later, Victoria and Jack stood once again on the balcony, locked in a firm embrace.’
    • ‘He leaned into her and they met in a deep embrace.’
    • ‘Soon he loosened his embrace and looked deep into Christie's eyes and brought his hand to stroke her cheek.’
    • ‘Our embrace is restricted by the wide table separating us, but it's great to feel his powerful arms around me.’
    • ‘Mama was next, pulling Riley into a deep embrace.’
    • ‘From her tone, I could tell that any misgivings about me were all gone by now, and I relished that fact, by snuggling deeper into her embrace.’
    • ‘All at once, the group of functionaries simultaneously lock Thatcher in a close embrace, surrounding her from all sides.’
    hug, cuddle, squeeze, clasp, hold, clutch, clinch, nuzzle, caress
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    1. 1.1 Used to refer to something which is regarded as surrounding, holding, or restricting someone.
      ‘the transformations brought about by the embrace of mass media’
      • ‘The thick tendrils of fog caressed the car, drawing it deeper into its muggy embrace.’
      • ‘Nothing surrounded us but the dark embrace of trees, except where the predawn light touched the eroded stone face of another pyramid rising above the canopy.’
      • ‘Shortly after collapsing into the voluptuous embrace of a velveteen sofa, your body may shut itself down and try to enter a coma.’
      • ‘She is ensconced in the embrace of a plump white sofa for our interview, and adopts a relaxed demeanour which hides any visible trace of nerves.’
      • ‘Night grew darker with increased time, the city stood peaceful at the embrace of the lights that surrounded it.’
      • ‘I felt very laid back, the sofa seemed to be hugging me as I sank deeper into its embrace.’
      • ‘The inhabitants can hang out along the edges of the side balcony, still in the embrace of the house, with a commanding view of surrounding garden and beyond.’
  • 2in singular An act of accepting or supporting something willingly or enthusiastically.

    ‘their eager embrace of foreign influences’
    • ‘Does Leland embrace it willingly, or is he merely a pawn of a greater evil?’
    • ‘The embrace of foreign expertise and capital is a welcome sign that China's leaders know how serious the challenge is - and are determined to meet it.’
    • ‘The role of rock singer demands an acceptance if not an embrace of exhibitionism, which necessarily has a narcissistic component that the role encourages.’
    • ‘Still others feel the bar has not been set quite high enough to warrant the eager embrace of electronic voting.’
    • ‘Such a willing embrace of danceable shenanigans produces something of a dilemma, however.’
    • ‘Enthusiastic embrace of these new gods is decimating its youthful adherents.’
    • ‘The vast power of the USA was with us, but there were occasions when the enthusiastic embrace might have proved as damaging as a blow from an enemy.’
    welcome, welcoming, favourable reception, embracing, approval, adoption, integration
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Middle English (in the sense ‘encircle, surround, enclose’; formerly also as imbrace): from Old French embracer, based on Latin in- ‘in’ + bracchium ‘arm’.