1. of, relating to, or engaged in diplomacy: diplomatic officials.
  2. skilled in dealing with sensitive matters or people; tactful.
  3. 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 formsdip·lo·mat·i·cal·ly, adverbnon·dip·lo·mat·ic, adjectivenon·dip·lo·mat·i·cal·ly, adverbpre·dip·lo·mat·ic, adjectivequa·si-dip·lo·mat·ic, adjectivequa·si-dip·lo·mat·i·cal·ly, adverbun·dip·lo·mat·ic, adjectiveun·dip·lo·mat·i·cal·ly, adverb

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.

Antonyms for diplomatic

2. blunt, blundering, tactless.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for diplomatically

Contemporary Examples of diplomatically

Historical Examples of diplomatically

  • "Miss Porter'll tell ye about this wan," said Mike, diplomatically.


    W. A. Fraser

  • If we could sort of get it out of her diplomatically, we could telegraph to Rouen for a good one.

  • "I'm sure I'm very much obliged to you both," said Peter diplomatically.

    The Vagrant Duke

    George Gibbs

  • “Maybe you just think my job is going to play out,” he suggested, diplomatically.

    Hidden Water

    Dane Coolidge

  • "Sure, I don't have to tell you why," he said diplomatically.


    Louis Joseph Vance

British Dictionary definitions for diplomatically


  1. of or relating to diplomacy or diplomats
  2. skilled in negotiating, esp between states or people
  3. tactful in dealing with people
  4. of or relating to diplomatics
Derived Formsdiplomatically, adverb

Word Origin for diplomatic

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

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