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[im-broo ] /ɪmˈbrʊ/
verb (used with object), imbrued, imbruing.
to stain:
He refused to imbrue his hands with the blood of more killing.
to impregnate or imbue (usually followed by with or in):
They are imbrued with the follies of youth.
Also, embrue.
Origin of imbrue
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English enbrewen < Middle French embreuver to cause to drink in, soak, drench < Vulgar Latin *imbiberāre, derivative of Latin imbibere to imbibe
Related forms
imbruement, noun
Can be confused
imbrue, imbue. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for imbrue


verb (transitive) (rare) -brues, -bruing, -brued
to stain, esp with blood
to permeate or impregnate
Derived Forms
imbruement, embruement, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old French embreuver, from Latin imbibereimbibe
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 imbrue

early 15c., "to soak, steep;" mid-15c., "to stain, soil," from Old French embreuvere "to moisten," a metathesis of embeuvrer, from em- (see im-) + -bevrer, ultimately from Latin bibere "to drink" (see imbibe). Or perhaps from Old French embroue "soiled," ultimately from boue "mud, dirt."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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