English as a Second Language/Meaning of embrace



I couldn't understand the meaning of word embrace in this sentence:- "THE aphorism, As a man thinketh in his heart so is he, not only embraces the whole of a manís being, but is so comprehensive as to reach out to every condition and circumstance of his life."
The only sense that embrace makes me to is: to clasp, to include or to comprise.
I think that "to comprise' suits the most but still couldn't how to relate its meaning in the sentence.
It shall be very kind of you if you could provide much detail.


ANSWER: Hi Utkarsh,

Good question!  Embrace generally is similar to "hug", but in this case it is more like "accept", but with the connotiation of encouraging or promoting an idea or concept.  So in other words, the aphorism not only accepts but also cherishes/loves/admires the whole of a man's being.

Your guess was also very accurate.  However, "comprise" has a very neutral connotation (not positive or negative), where "embrace" has a very heart-warming, positive connotation.

Hope that helps!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for the help. You have really helped me to look into what actually the meaning 'embrace' in the sentence conveys.
There is one more thing I hope you can help me with.

The aphorism accepts the whole of a man's being.
What the aphorism has to with the acceptance of man's being? Does it mean that the aphorism is universal? Or Is it something else?

Well, the word "embrace" does not make it universal, although the term "a man's" does.

I would say it's more like "it includes everything about a man"; it is all-inclusive, in a way that is respectful or loving or accepting.

We might say, for instance, you need to "embrace your role as" for example "a father", meaning not only accept but enjoy or love the role.

Hope that helps a bit!

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Brian Connelly


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