noun \am-ˈba-sə-dər, əm-, im-, -ˌdr, -ˈbas-dər\

: the highest-ranking person who represents his or her own government while living in another country

Full Definition of AMBASSADOR

:  an official envoy; especially :  a diplomatic agent of the highest rank accredited to a foreign government or sovereign as the resident representative of his or her own government or sovereign or appointed for a special and often temporary diplomatic assignment
a :  an authorized representative or messenger
b :  an unofficial representative <traveling abroad as ambassadors of goodwill>
am·bas·sa·do·ri·al \-ˌba-sə-ˈdr-ē-əl\ adjective
am·bas·sa·dor·ship \-ˈba-sə-dər-ˌship\ noun

Examples of AMBASSADOR

  1. Embassy officials met with the ambassador.
  2. <a beloved entertainer who has often been sent abroad by the president as his country's goodwill ambassador>


Middle English ambassadour, from Anglo-French ambassateur, ultimately of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German ambaht service
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Foreign Functionary Terms

count, despot, emir, wardrobe, yeoman


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Highest-ranking diplomatic representative of one government to another or to an international organization. As formally defined and recognized at the Congress of Vienna (1815), ambassadors were originally regarded as personal representatives of their country's chief executive rather than of the whole country, and their rank entitled them to meet personally with the head of state of the host country. Originally, only the principal monarchies exchanged ambassadors; the U.S. did not appoint ambassadors until 1893. Since 1945 all nations have been recognized as equals, and ambassadors or their equivalents are sent to all countries with which diplomatic relations are maintained. Before the development of modern communications, ambassadors were entrusted with extensive powers; they have since been reduced to spokespeople for their foreign offices.


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