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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 embossment
Historical Examples
  • The mold will then receive the embossment in reverse and all the tiles made from this mold will be alike.

    The Potter's Craft Charles F. Binns
  • But on every one of them, in the centre or some other part of the embossment, appeared this image of the sun.

    The Virgin of the Sun H. R. Haggard
British Dictionary definitions for embossment


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 embossment



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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