• synonyms


[en-voi, ahn-]
See more synonyms for envoy on Thesaurus.com
  1. a diplomatic agent.
  2. any accredited messenger or representative.
  3. Also called envoy extraordinary, minister plenipotentiary. a diplomatic agent of the second rank, next in status after an ambassador.
Show More

Origin of envoy1

1635–45; < French envoyé envoy, noun use of past participle of envoyer to send < Vulgar Latin *inviāre, presumably orig. to be on a journey, verbal derivative of Latin in viā on one's way, en route


See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com


or en·voi

[en-voi, ahn-]
  1. a short stanza concluding a poem in certain archaic metrical forms, as a ballade, and serving as a dedication, or a similar postscript to a prose composition.
Show More

Origin of envoy2

1350–1400; Middle English envoye < Old French, derivative of envoyer to send; see envoy1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for envoy

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • This will be confirmed by your official attendant, who will be an Envoy's Courier.

    Vivian Grey

    Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli

  • Ahead of him Cesare sent an envoy to Bentivogli, to demand its surrender.

  • This envoy arrived within three days and delivered his message.



  • There was no minister, no envoy to appeal to, and nothing left but to comply.

  • How is this difficulty about the new Greek envoy to the Porte to end?

    Lord Kilgobbin

    Charles Lever

British Dictionary definitions for envoy


  1. Formal name: envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary a diplomat of the second class, ranking between an ambassador and a minister resident
  2. an accredited messenger, agent, or representative
Show More
Derived Formsenvoyship, noun

Word Origin

C17: from French envoyé, literally: sent, from envoyer to send, from Vulgar Latin inviāre (unattested) to send on a journey, from in- ² + via road



  1. a brief dedicatory or explanatory stanza concluding certain forms of poetry, notably ballades
  2. a postscript in other forms of verse or prose
Show More

Word Origin

C14: from Old French envoye, from envoyer to send; see envoy 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

Word Origin and History for envoy


"messenger," 1660s, from French envoyé "messenger," literally "one sent" (12c.), noun use of past participle of envoyer "send," from Vulgar Latin *inviare "send on one's way," from Latin in "on" (see in- (2)) + via "road" (see via (adv.)). The same French word was borrowed in Middle English to mean "a stanza of a poem sending it off to find readers" (late 14c.).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper