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ambush

[am-boo sh] /ˈæm bʊʃ/
noun, Also, ambushment
1.
an act or instance of lying concealed so as to attack by surprise:
The highwaymen waited in ambush near the road.
2.
an act or instance of attacking unexpectedly from a concealed position.
3.
the concealed position itself:
They fired from ambush.
4.
those who attack suddenly and unexpectedly from a concealed position.
verb (used with object)
5.
to attack from ambush.
Origin of ambush
1250-1300
1250-1300; (v.) Middle English enbuss(h)en < Middle French embuschier to place men in ambush, literally, to set in the woods, equivalent to em- im-1 + busch- (< Vulgar Latin *busca wood, forest < Germanic *busk- heavy stick) + -ier infinitive suffix; (noun) earlier enbusshe < Middle French embusche, derivative of the v.
Related forms
ambusher, noun
ambushlike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for ambush
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Firing from ambush and moving from place to place, he would seem more than one man.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • No mountains are here, but this is a great country for ambush.

    The Rock of Chickamauga Joseph A. Altsheler
  • Besides, they can rake us with bullets from ambush, while we're climbing up the ridge.

    The Rock of Chickamauga Joseph A. Altsheler
  • We're only two, but we've got the advantage of the ambush, and that's a big one.

    The Rock of Chickamauga Joseph A. Altsheler
  • Darkness, the ambush and the caution of sharpshooters were there.

    The Rock of Chickamauga Joseph A. Altsheler
British Dictionary definitions for ambush

ambush

/ˈæmbʊʃ/
noun
1.
the act of waiting in a concealed position in order to launch a surprise attack
2.
a surprise attack from such a position
3.
the concealed position from which such an attack is launched
4.
the person or persons waiting to launch such an attack
verb
5.
to lie in wait (for)
6.
(transitive) to attack suddenly from a concealed position
Derived Forms
ambusher, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French embuschier to position in ambush, from em-im- + -buschier, from busche piece of firewood, probably of Germanic origin; see bush1
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 ambush
v.

c.1300, from Old French embuscher (13c., Modern French embûcher) "to lay an ambush," from en- "in" + busch "wood," apparently from Frankish *busk "bush, woods" (see bush (n.)). Related: Ambushed; ambushing.

n.

late 15c., embushe, from the English verb or from Middle French embusche, from Old French embuscher (see ambush (v.)). Earlier was ambushment (late 14c.). Figurative use by 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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