- a specially equipped motor vehicle, airplane, ship, etc., for carrying sick or injured people, usually to a hospital.
- (formerly) a field hospital.
Origin of ambulance
Examples from the Web for ambulance
That is a fact recorded by the doctor in charge of the ambulance at the inquest.Harry’s Daddy, and Diana’s ‘Murder’: Royal Rumors In a New Play
January 4, 2015
By the time the ambulance arrived, over 10 minutes later, it was too late—Mills died soon after arriving at the hospital.Red Tape Is Strangling Good Samaritans
Philip K. Howard
December 27, 2014
At Woodhull Hospital, the Bed-Stuy ambulance crew kept doing all they could as they wheeled Ramos into the emergency room.
Ramos was still showing no signs of life when they got him on a backboard and into the ambulance.
He then went back to his volunteer corps, which had formed when they did not yet have an ambulance.
He has joined an ambulance corps that is going to the Front.Ballads of a Bohemian
Robert W. Service
Scarcely a night went by without its patrol or ambulance case.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
He was a surgeon-major, and was wearing the ambulance badge on his sleeve.
It was Christmas-eve, and I had decorated the ambulance with festoons of green leaves.
On returning to the ambulance I met one of my friends at the door.
- a motor vehicle designed to carry sick or injured people
Word Origin and History for ambulance
1798, "mobile or field hospital," from French (hôpital) ambulant, literally "walking (hospital)," from Latin ambulantem (nominative ambulans), present participle of ambulare "to walk" (see amble).
AMBULANCE, s. f. a moveable hospital. These were houses constructed in a manner so as to be taken to pieces, and carried from place to place, according to the movements of the army; and served as receptacles in which the sick and wounded men might be received and attended. ["Lexicographica-Neologica Gallica" (The Neological French Dictionary), William Dupré, London, 1801]
The word was not common in English until the meaning transferred from "field hospital" to "vehicle for conveying wounded from field" (1854) during the Crimean War. In late 19c. U.S. the word was used dialectally to mean "prairie wagon." Ambulance-chaser as a contemptuous term for a type of lawyer dates from 1897.
- A specially equipped vehicle used to transport the sick or injured.