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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for diplomatically
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • No doubt Barnes thought he was conducting the business very smartly and diplomatically.

    The Newcomes William Makepeace Thackeray
  • It was diplomatically, of course, but I am determined to find out the truth.

    The Light of Scarthey Egerton Castle
  • Pratt was about to utter some further insult when Clarke diplomatically interposed.

    The Tyranny of the Dark Hamlin Garland
  • "Miss Porter'll tell ye about this wan," said Mike, diplomatically.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • She could not help observing how diplomatically he had parried both her questions.

    The Apartment Next Door William Andrew Johnston
British Dictionary definitions for diplomatically


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 diplomatically



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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