ambassador

[am-bas-uh-der, -dawr]
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

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 formsam·bas·sa·do·ri·al [am-bas-uh-dawr-ee-uh l, -dohr-] /æmˌbæs əˈdɔr i əl, -ˈdoʊr-/, adjectiveam·bas·sa·do·ri·al·ly, adverbam·bas·sa·dor·ship, nounpre·am·bas·sa·do·ri·al, adjective

Ambassadors, The

noun
  1. a novel (1903) by Henry James.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for ambassadors

diplomat, emissary, deputy, plenipotentiary, consul, envoy, agent, minister

Examples from the Web for ambassadors

Contemporary Examples of ambassadors

Historical Examples of ambassadors

  • 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.

  • Yet Cesare met the ambassadors in a spirit of splendid generosity.

  • On this wise the ambassadors were acquitted of all concern in the matter and dismissed.

    Hellenica

    Xenophon


British Dictionary definitions for ambassadors

ambassador

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. ambassador-at-large US an ambassador with special duties who may be sent to more than one government
  5. an authorized representative or messenger
Derived Formsambassadress, fem nambassadorial (æmˌbæsəˈdɔːrɪəl), adjectiveambassadorship, noun

Word Origin for ambassador

C14: from Old French ambassadeur, from Italian ambasciator, from Old Provençal ambaisador, from ambaisa (unattested) mission, errand; see embassy

usage

The gender-neutral form is ambassador
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

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