[am-buh-skeyd, am-buh-skeyd]


an ambush.

verb (used without object), am·bus·cad·ed, am·bus·cad·ing.

to lie in ambush.

verb (used with object), am·bus·cad·ed, am·bus·cad·ing.

to attack from a concealed position; ambush.

Origin of ambuscade

1575–85; < Middle French embuscade, alteration (under influence of Old French embuschier; see ambush) of Middle French emboscade < Old Italian imboscata, feminine past participle of imboscare, verbal derivative with in- in-2 of bosco wood, forest < Germanic *bosk- bush1
Related formsam·bus·cad·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ambuscade

Historical Examples of ambuscade

  • How is it you know there is an ambuscade laid to catch us napping?

  • This was the place of the ambuscade, where his army was cut to pieces.

    Chronicles of Border Warfare

    Alexander Scott Withers

  • Here a thousand Indians had planted themselves in ambuscade.

    King Philip

    John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott

  • But the darkness, which had favored the ambuscade, now defeated their object.

    The Night Riders

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • And as to the wine-cup and slumber—these I guard against, even as a man might guard against an ambuscade.



British Dictionary definitions for ambuscade



an ambush


to ambush or lie in ambush

Word Origin for ambuscade

C16: from French embuscade, from Old Italian imboscata, probably of Germanic origin; compare ambush
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 ambuscade

1580s, essentially a variant form of ambush (n.), representing a reborrowing of that French word after it had been Italianized. Ambuscade is from French embuscade (16c.), Gallicized from Italian imboscata, literally "a hiding in the bush," compounded from the same elements as Old French embuscher. Sometimes in English as ambuscado, with faux Spanish ending of the sort popular in 17c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper