verb (used with object), em·bed·ded, em·bed·ding.

  1. to fix into a surrounding mass: to embed stones in cement.
  2. to surround tightly or firmly; envelop or enclose: Thick cotton padding embedded the precious vase in its box.
  3. to incorporate or contain as an essential part or characteristic: A love of color is embedded in all of her paintings.
  4. Histology. to infiltrate (a biological tissue) with molten paraffin or other plastic material that later solidifies, enabling the preparation to be sliced very thin for viewing under a microscope.
  5. Mathematics. to map a set into another set.
  6. Grammar. to insert (a construction, as a phrase or clause) into a larger construction, as a clause or sentence.
  7. to assign (a journalist) to travel with a military unit or a political campaign: The photojournalists were embedded in Afghanistan with U.S. troops. We’ve embedded a reporter with each of the presidential candidates.
  8. Digital Technology. to place (text, images, sound, or computer code) in a computer file, HTML document, software program, or electronic device: how to embed videos on your website; embedded software in cars and airplanes.

verb (used without object), em·bed·ded, em·bed·ding.

  1. to be or become fixed or incorporated, as into a surrounding mass: Glass embeds in the soft tar of the road.


  1. a journalist who is embedded with a military unit or a political campaign.
  2. a period of time during which a journalist is embedded.

verb -beds, -bedding or -bedded

  1. (usually foll by in) to fix or become fixed firmly and deeply in a surrounding solid massto embed a nail in wood
  2. (tr) to surround closelyhard rock embeds the roots
  3. (tr) to fix or retain (a thought, idea, etc) in the mind
  4. (often foll by with) to assign a journalist or be assigned as one to accompany an active military unit
  5. (tr) grammar to insert (a subordinate clause) into a sentence

noun (ˈɪmbɛd)

  1. a journalist accompanying an active military unit

1778, from em- + bed (n.). Originally a geological term, in reference to fossils in rock; figurative sense is from 1835; meaning “place a journalist within a military unit at war” is 2003. Related: Embedded; embedding.

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