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2017 Word of the Year

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

Ambassadors, The

noun
1.
a novel (1903) by Henry James.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for ambassadors
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The ambassadors have gone to Norway and returned; but Hamlet has done nothing.

    A Dish Of Orts George MacDonald
  • He then went aside with his two ambassadors, with a view to give his instructions.

    Homeward Bound James Fenimore Cooper
  • The ambassadors said further, that the people were ready to burn their houses.

    The Life of Flavius Josephus Flavius Josephus
  • Yet Cesare met the ambassadors in a spirit of splendid generosity.

    The Life of Cesare Borgia Raphael Sabatini
  • On this wise the ambassadors were acquitted of all concern in the matter and dismissed.

    Hellenica Xenophon
British Dictionary definitions for ambassadors

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 ambassadors

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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