ambassador

noun

am·​bas·​sa·​dor am-ˈba-sə-dər How to pronounce ambassador (audio)
əm-,
im-,
-ˌdȯr,
-ˈbas-dər
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.
2
a
: an authorized representative or messenger
b
: an unofficial representative
traveling abroad as ambassadors of goodwill
ambassadorial 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 Doug was named the Goodwill Ambassador of Tanzania in 2010, having been involved in many projects to increase access to clean water in the country, while Julie is a water ambassador for WorldServe International, where Doug is on the board. Skyler Trepel, Peoplemag, 10 Feb. 2024 Previous ambassadors include Taylor Swift, St. Vincent, Metallica, Pearl Jam, Jack White, and Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires. Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone, 10 Feb. 2024 Djuric, who has been ambassador in Washington since October 2020, was on his first official visit to Miami. Vinod Sreeharsha, Miami Herald, 9 Feb. 2024 While Garner was always passionate about nutritious kids’ foods (she’s spent more than a decade as an ambassador for Save the Children), Once Upon a Farm’s recent category expansion has shown her more about the challenges of the industry. Emma Hinchliffe, Fortune, 8 Feb. 2024 Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE ambassador to the United States, did not respond to an email seeking comment about Mattis’s employment as a military adviser. Nate Jones, Washington Post, 6 Feb. 2024 Uniquely, his lone remaining rival, Nikki Haley, was appointed to be the United Nations ambassador by him and served under him, making her foreign policy accomplishments also his. Shane Goldmacher, New York Times, 5 Feb. 2024 Haley’s father was also a state lawmaker and in the late 90s and early 2000s was the U.S. ambassador to Gambia. Jonathan Shorman, Kansas City Star, 5 Feb. 2024 And this week, Purdy, the AP has learned, signed a major deal with Toyota to be a national partner and brand ambassador, becoming the first active player the company has partnered with since signing a partnership with the NFL in October 2023. Rob Maaddi, Twin Cities, 1 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ambassador.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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."

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near ambassador

Cite this Entry

“Ambassador.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ambassador. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

ambassador

noun
am·​bas·​sa·​dor am-ˈbas-əd-ər How to pronounce ambassador (audio)
əm-,
-ˈbas-ə-dȯ(ə)r
1
: a person sent as the chief representative of his or her own government in another country
2
: an official representative or messenger
ambassadorial adjective
ambassadorship noun

More from Merriam-Webster on ambassador

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