noun, plural em·is·sar·ies.

a representative sent on a mission or errand: emissaries to negotiate a peace.
an agent sent on a mission of a secret nature, as a spy.
Anatomy. sending or coming out, as certain veins that pass through the skull and connect the venous sinuses inside with the veins outside.
pertaining to an emissary.


Archaic. sent forth, as on a mission.

Origin of emissary

1595–1605; < Latin ēmissārius one sent out, equivalent to ēmiss- (see emission) + -ārius -ary

Synonyms for emissary

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for emissary

Contemporary Examples of emissary

Historical Examples of emissary

  • Or—harking back to her original theory—that he was an emissary from Scotland Yard?

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • I am no more than the emissary of Her Majesty—it is to her that your thanks are due.

    St. Martin's Summer

    Rafael Sabatini

  • Fearlessly this emissary of love penetrates the realms of despair.

  • Could he be an emissary from some one whom the old forger had reason to evade?

    The Crevice

    William John Burns and Isabel Ostrander

  • The emissary and compadre of Hernandez spurred his horse close up.

British Dictionary definitions for emissary


noun plural -saries

  1. an agent or messenger sent on a mission, esp one who represents a government or head of state
  2. (as modifier)an emissary delegation
an agent sent on a secret mission, as a spy


(of veins) draining blood from sinuses in the dura mater to veins outside the skull

Word Origin for emissary

C17: from Latin ēmissārius emissary, spy, from ēmittere to send out; see emit
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 emissary

1620s, from French émissaire (17c.) or directly from Latin emissarius, literally "that is sent out," from emissus, past participle of emittere "send forth" (see emit).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

emissary in Medicine




Any of various venous channels through the skull that connect the venous sinuses of the dura mater with veins external to the skull.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.