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ambassador

[am-bas-uh-der, -dawr] /æmˈbæs ə dər, -ˌdɔr/
noun
1.
a diplomatic official of the highest rank, sent by one sovereign or state to another as its resident representative (ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary)
2.
a diplomatic official of the highest rank sent by a government to represent it on a temporary mission, as for negotiating a treaty.
3.
a diplomatic official serving as permanent head of a country's mission to the United Nations or some other international organization.
4.
an authorized messenger or representative.
Abbreviation: Amb., amb.
Origin of ambassador
dialectal Italian
1325-1375
1325-75; Middle English am-, embass(i)adour, imbassadore < Anglo-French ambassateur, ambassaduer < Italian ambassatore, dialectal Italian ambassadore, equivalent to ambass- (see embassy) -atore, -adore < Latin -ātōrem accusative of -ātor -ator
Related forms
ambassadorial
[am-bas-uh-dawr-ee-uh l, -dohr-] /æmˌbæs əˈdɔr i əl, -ˈdoʊr-/ (Show IPA),
adjective
ambassadorially, adverb
ambassadorship, noun
preambassadorial, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for ambassador
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He gives his ambassador a sum on which a private gentleman can live, and no more.

  • I should think so—involving the ambassador of a foreign power!

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
  • "And his own too, sometimes, I believe," answered the ambassador drily.

    Fair Margaret H. Rider Haggard
  • "You find the scene strange, Marquis," said the ambassador, glancing at him shrewdly.

    Fair Margaret H. Rider Haggard
  • One who serves his country by residing abroad, yet is not an ambassador.

    The Devil's Dictionary Ambrose Bierce
British Dictionary definitions for ambassador

ambassador

/æmˈbæsədə/
noun
1.
short for ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary; a diplomatic minister of the highest rank, accredited as permanent representative to another country or sovereign
2.
ambassador extraordinary, a diplomatic minister of the highest rank sent on a special mission
3.
ambassador plenipotentiary, a diplomatic minister of the first rank with treaty-signing powers
4.
(US) ambassador-at-large, an ambassador with special duties who may be sent to more than one government
5.
an authorized representative or messenger
Derived Forms
ambassadress, noun:feminine
ambassadorial (æmˌbæsəˈdɔːrɪəl) adjective
ambassadorship, noun
Usage note
The gender-neutral form is ambassador
Word Origin
C14: from Old French ambassadeur, from Italian ambasciator, from Old Provençal ambaisador, from ambaisa (unattested) mission, errand; see embassy
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 ambassador
n.

late 14c., also embassador, from Middle French ambassadeur, from Old French embassator, via Provençal or Old Spanish from Latin ambactus "a servant, vassal," from Celtic amb(i)actos "a messenger, servant," from PIE *ambhi- "about" (see ambi-) + *ag- "drive, lead" (see act (v.)). Cf. embassy. Forms in am- and em- were used indiscriminately 17c.-18c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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