[ em-uh-ser-ee ]
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noun,plural em·is·sar·ies.
  1. a representative sent on a mission or errand: emissaries to negotiate a peace.

  2. an agent sent on a mission of a secret nature, as a spy.

  1. Anatomy. sending or coming out, as certain veins that pass through the skull and connect the venous sinuses inside with the veins outside.

  2. pertaining to an emissary.

  1. Archaic. sent forth, as on a mission.

Origin of emissary

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

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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British Dictionary definitions for emissary


/ (ˈɛmɪsərɪ, -ɪsrɪ) /

nounplural -saries
    • an agent or messenger sent on a mission, esp one who represents a government or head of state

    • (as modifier): an emissary delegation

  1. an agent sent on a secret mission, as a spy

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

Origin of 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