I have a hard time understanding word 'embrace'. I checked many different definitions however the basic one means as far as I know to welcome somebody with a hug. So if you are hugging someone it means you are embracing him.

However what does it mean to:

1) embrace yourself

2) embrace the challenge

From my understanding it means

1) Understand yourself

2) Welcome the challenge and take it cheerfully?

Am I right? What other synonyms would you use to replace the embrace words in my examples?

BTW can embrace be used as a colloquial word?


  • Present your research. Which English language dictionaries have you consulted? What definitions did they give? It is not enough to say that you've done research, you need to present the research you have done. Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 13:47
  • (2) is fine; exactly right. (1) implies acceptance of your own limitations, as well as strengths.
    – Hugh
    Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 14:31

2 Answers 2


"Embrace" in this case is a figurative extension for the meaning of "hug". Generally a hug is a welcome or a sign of happy acceptance; that is the meaning here.

To embrace something abstract like this means to not only accept it, but to gleefully welcome it. To Embrace yourself means to let go of harsh self-recrimination and happily accept your own identity and uniqueness. To Embrace the challenge means to take on a challenge without complaint or concern for potential failure, but with confidence and a desire to stretch your own talents.

Other examples might be:

Try not to worry about your differences; embrace your differences and use them to your mutual advantage.

Embrace new technologies and use them to improve your personal and organisational productivity.

Other synonyms could include accept or welcome, though these are generally milder forms of the same idea.


Embrace yourself - My understanding is "grab a hold on your true self through a thorough and honest inventory of oneself, then love yourself enough that you move foreward" Embrace the challenge - Grab the bull by the horns! - Accept the situation for what it is and view any difficulties as an opportunity for growth

Just my own understanding and experience.

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