am·​bas·​sa·​dor | \ am-ˈba-sə-dər How to pronounce ambassador (audio) , əm-, im-, -ˌdȯr, -ˈbas-dər \

Definition of ambassador

1 : 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 She's the American ambassador to Italy.
2a : an authorized representative or messenger
b : an unofficial representative traveling abroad as ambassadors of goodwill

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from ambassador

ambassadorial \ am-​ˌba-​sə-​ˈdȯr-​ē-​əl How to pronounce ambassador (audio) , əm-​ , im-​ \ adjective
ambassadorship \ am-​ˈba-​sə-​dər-​ˌship How to pronounce ambassador (audio) , əm-​ , im-​ , -​ˌdȯr-​ , -​ˈbas-​dər-​ \ noun

Examples of ambassador in a Sentence

Embassy officials met with the ambassador. a beloved entertainer who has often been sent abroad by the president as his country's goodwill ambassador
Recent Examples on the Web The Senate yesterday confirmed Linda Thomas-Greenfield as President Joe Biden’s U.S. ambassador to the UN. Fortune, "What keeps Martha Stewart relevant?," 24 Feb. 2021 Some are perceiving hypocrisy from Collins and Manchin, both of whom voted in favor of confirming Richard Grenell as Germany's ambassador, despite his intensely partisan Twitter activity. Rick Klein, ABC News, "Trump's role in Jan. 6 siege looms over business of Washington: The Note," 24 Feb. 2021 When Trump appointed Brownback as U.S. ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom in 2017, Colyer got a promotion. Dan Mcgowan,, "These former lieutenant governors who became governors have some advice for Dan McKee," 24 Feb. 2021 Along with his presence at community events as a police ambassador, Sopkovich said Ajgo’s skills will be particularly useful on the job. Brian Lisik, cleveland, "Brunswick Hills police welcome new K9 to the force," 23 Feb. 2021 Among them was Gilad Erdan, the Israeli ambassador to the United States, who urged Che to apologize over the weekend. Washington Post, "SNL’s Michael Che said Israel only vaccinated its ‘Jewish half.’ Critics call the joke ‘an anti-Semitic trope.’," 23 Feb. 2021 The ambassador would act as a liaison to foreign officials, federal agencies and private companies, some of which have called for greater collaboration between governments to deter attacks. David Uberti, WSJ, "Lawmakers Call for Ambassador to Represent U.S. in Cyberspace," 23 Feb. 2021 Luca Attanasio, Italy's ambassador to the country since 2017, carabinieri officer Vittorio Iacovacci and their driver were killed. Fox News, "Italian ambassador to Congo killed in attack on UN convoy," 23 Feb. 2021 Dehab Ghebreab, a 27-year veteran of the Foreign Service who worked with her in Liberia, remembers one particular moment when Ms. Thomas-Greenfield was the ambassador posted in Monrovia. New York Times, "‘Diplomacy Is Back’: Linda Thomas-Greenfield Is Confirmed as Biden’s U.N. Envoy," 23 Feb. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ambassador.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of ambassador

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ambassador

Middle English ambassatour, ambassiatour "diplomatic emissary, envoy, messenger," borrowed from Anglo-French & Medieval Latin; Anglo-French ambaxiatour, ambassatour (continental Middle French also embassator, ambassadeur), borrowed from Medieval Latin ambasciātor, ambassātor, from ambiasciāre "to communicate, send a message, send an envoy" (derivative of Late Latin ambascia, ambassia "mission, errand, task, journey") + Latin -tor, agent suffix — more at embassy

Note: The current form of the word with -d-, which becomes common in early Modern English, is dependent on Middle French (and French) ambassadeur, borrowed from Italian ambasciatore, probably borrowed from Old Occitan ambayssador. Regarding the variation between initial am- and em-, see the note at embassy. As the Oxford English Dictionary, third edition, remarks, the form embassador was frequent in early Modern English, up to ca. 1700, and sporadic thereafter; the prevalence of the am- form is probably due at least in part to the influence of French ambassadeur. Though ambassador was apparently always more common in American English, Noah Webster preferred embassador, as he notes at the entry for ambassador in An American Dictionary of the English Language (1828): "This is the more common orthography; but good authors write also embassador; and as the orthography of embassy is established, it would be better to write embassador."

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ambassador

Time Traveler for ambassador

Time Traveler

The first known use of ambassador was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for ambassador

Last Updated

28 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ambassador.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ambassador



English Language Learners Definition of ambassador

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


am·​bas·​sa·​dor | \ am-ˈba-sə-dər How to pronounce ambassador (audio) \

Kids Definition of ambassador

: a person sent as the chief representative of his or her government in another country

Other Words from ambassador

ambassadorship \ -​ˌship \ noun

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on ambassador

What made you want to look up ambassador? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!