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[dip-luh-mat-ik] /ˌdɪp ləˈmæt ɪk/
of, relating to, or engaged in diplomacy:
diplomatic officials.
skilled in dealing with sensitive matters or people; tactful.
of or relating to diplomatics.
Origin of diplomatic
1705-15; < French diplomatique < New Latin diplōmaticus, equivalent to Latin diplōmat- (stem of diplōma) diploma + -icus -ic
Related forms
diplomatically, adverb
nondiplomatic, adjective
nondiplomatically, adverb
prediplomatic, adjective
quasi-diplomatic, adjective
quasi-diplomatically, adverb
undiplomatic, adjective
undiplomatically, adverb
2. blunt, blundering, tactless.
Synonym Study
2. Diplomatic, politic, tactful imply ability to avoid offending others or hurting their feelings, especially in situations where this ability is important. Diplomatic suggests a smoothness and skill in handling others, usually in such a way as to attain one's own ends and yet avoid any unpleasantness or opposition: By diplomatic conduct he avoided antagonizing anyone. Politic emphasizes expediency or prudence in looking out for one's own interests, thus knowing how to treat people of different types and on different occasions: a truth which it is not politic to insist on. Tactful suggests a nice touch in the handling of delicate matters or situations, and, unlike the other two, often suggests a sincere desire not to hurt the feelings of others: a tactful way of correcting someone. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for diplomatic


of or relating to diplomacy or diplomats
skilled in negotiating, esp between states or people
tactful in dealing with people
of or relating to diplomatics
Derived Forms
diplomatically, adverb
Word Origin
C18: from French diplomatique concerning the documents of diplomacy, from New Latin diplōmaticus; see diploma
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 diplomatic

1711, "pertaining to documents, texts, charters," from Medieval Latin diplomaticus, from diplomat-, stem of diploma (see diploma).

Meaning "pertaining to international relations" is recorded from 1787, apparently a sense evolved in 18c. from the use of diplomaticus in Modern Latin titles of collections of international treaties, etc., in which the word referred to the "texts" but came to be felt as meaning "pertaining to international relations." In the general sense of "tactful and adroit," it dates from 1826. Related: Diplomatically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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