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

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 But there’s an exception to every rule, and in this case, that exception comes in the form of furniture designer and interior decorator Jonathan Adler and his husband, Simon Doonan, writer and creative ambassador-at-large of Barneys. Emma Specter, Vogue, 19 May 2022 Thursday’s meeting, presided over by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, pitted Moscow’s ambassador against senior Western officials and U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres. William Mauldin, WSJ, 19 May 2022 Tomita Koji, Japan’s ambassador to the United States, said Biden’s visit will send the message that the U.S. is not distracted. Maureen Groppe, USA TODAY, 19 May 2022 Brink, a veteran foreign service officer and current U.S. ambassador to Slovakia, was unanimously confirmed by voice vote Wednesday night. Peter Weber, The Week, 19 May 2022 Made in collaboration with brand ambassador and A-Cold-Wall founder Samuel Ross, the new watch mirrors artwork the British fashion designer created to mark their partnership in 2020. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 19 May 2022 The singer and Aerie ambassador has had a busy year promoting her new book of poetry, attending her high school reunion, recording new music, and hosting the CMT Awards (from home!). Katie Bowlby, Country Living, 18 May 2022 Human Voicebank has an ambassador program that encourages people to host and participate in voice drives. Jacqueline Goldblatt, PCMAG, 18 May 2022 The actress, a L’Oreal ambassador and frequent Cannes attendee, was seated in the Palais and received a special shout-out from Cruise. Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter, 18 May 2022 See More

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.

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."

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

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Last Updated

23 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ambassador.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for ambassador


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

More from Merriam-Webster on ambassador

Nglish: Translation of ambassador for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ambassador for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about ambassador


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