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Borrowing from Middle French embarquer, from em- + barque(small ship). Compare with Portuguese embarcar, Spanish abarcar.



embark (third-person singular simple present embarks, present participle embarking, simple past and past participle embarked)

  1. To get on a boat or ship or (outside the USA) an aeroplane.
    All passengers please embark now.
    • 1915, George A. Birmingham, “chapter I”, in Gossamer (Project Gutenberg; EBook #24394), London: Methuen & Co., published 8 January 2013 (Project Gutenberg version), OCLC 558189256:
      It is never possible to settle down to the ordinary routine of life at sea until the screw begins to revolve. There is an hour or two, after the passengers have embarked, which is disquieting and fussy.
  2. To start, begin.
    Phil embarked on his journey yesterday.
  3. (transitive) To cause to go on board a vessel or boat; to put on shipboard.
  4. (transitive) To engage, enlist, or invest (as persons, money, etc.) in any affair.
    He embarked his fortune in trade.
    • Robert South (1634–1716)
      It was the reputation of the sect upon which St. Paul embarked his salvation.


Derived terms[edit]


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