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[em-baws, -bos] /ɛmˈbɔs, -ˈbɒs/
verb (used with object)
to raise or represent (surface designs) in relief.
to decorate (a surface) with raised ornament.
Metalworking. to raise a design on (a blank) with dies of similar pattern, one the negative of the other.
Compare coin (def 10).
to cause to bulge out; make protuberant.
Origin of emboss
1350-1400; Middle English embosen < Middle French embocer, equivalent to em- em-1 + boce boss2
Related forms
embossable, adjective
embosser, noun
embossment, noun
unembossed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for embossed
  • The timing, my economics major, and the embossed paper thing all pointed in that direction.
  • Cedar-lap siding, wooden sidewalks, embossed tin ceilings.
  • The embossed felt rug was made by molding wet wool over bowls and other circular shapes.
  • And even if the original name is embossed on the ship's bow or stern in raised steel, that is no great obstacle.
  • They were oddly colored and lacked the telltale embossed feel of offset printing.
  • They are inexpensive and attractive, with gold and silver designs embossed on a brown background.
  • As another security measure, the laminated edge of the card will be embossed with lines raised slightly above the laminate.
  • The decoder ring is offered with an embossed design, engraved with a metallic inlaid crest, or with a colored enamel coating.
  • The king at last came in guarded with twelve lances, covered over with a rich canopy with embossed gold.
  • From the vestibule, you can visit another smoking room, this one painted and paneled with embossed leather.
British Dictionary definitions for embossed


having a moulded or carved decoration or design on the surface so that it is raised above the surface in low relief


to mould or carve (a decoration or design) on (a surface) so that it is raised above the surface in low relief
to cause to bulge; make protrude
Derived Forms
embosser, noun
embossment, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French embocer, from em- + boceboss²
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for embossed



late 14c., from Old French *embocer (cf. embocieure "boss, stud, buckle"), from em- (see en- (1)) + boce "knoblike mass" (see boss (n.2)). Related: Embossed; embossing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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