[ am-boo sh ]
/ ˈæm bʊʃ /

noun Also am·bush·ment.

an act or instance of lying concealed so as to attack by surprise: The highwaymen waited in ambush near the road.
an act or instance of attacking unexpectedly from a concealed position.
the concealed position itself: They fired from ambush.
those who attack suddenly and unexpectedly from a concealed position.

verb (used with object)

to attack from ambush.

Origin of ambush

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.


am·bush·er, nounam·bush·like, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for ambush

British Dictionary definitions for ambush

/ (ˈæmbʊʃ) /


the act of waiting in a concealed position in order to launch a surprise attack
a surprise attack from such a position
the concealed position from which such an attack is launched
the person or persons waiting to launch such an attack


to lie in wait (for)
(tr) to attack suddenly from a concealed position

Derived forms of ambush

ambusher, noun

Word Origin for ambush

C14: from Old French embuschier to position in ambush, from em- im- + -buschier, from busche piece of firewood, probably of Germanic origin; see bush 1
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