am·​bus·​cade | \ ˈam-bə-ˌskād How to pronounce ambuscade (audio) , ˌam-bə-ˈskād \

Definition of ambuscade

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ambuscade verb
ambuscader noun

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Ambuscade derives from Middle French embuscade, a modification of an Old Italian word formed by combining the prefix in- and the Latin noun bosco, meaning "forest." This is appropriate, since many such surprise attacks have involved the attacking force hiding out in and emerging from a wooded area. "Ambuscade" has not changed in meaning since General Washington’s day, though nowadays we are more likely to use its synonym "ambush." That word actually took a slightly different path to English - via Middle English "embushen," from Anglo-French en- ("in-") and "busche" ("log" or "firewood") - though the two words ultimately share a relationship.

Examples of ambuscade in a Sentence

warned by one of their scouts of an Apache ambuscade, the Comanches took a different path through the mountains

First Known Use of ambuscade

circa 1588, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ambuscade

Middle French embuscade, modification of Old Italian imboscata, from imboscare to place in ambush, from in (from Latin) + bosco forest, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German busc forest — more at in, bush

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The first known use of ambuscade was circa 1588

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Cite this Entry

“Ambuscade.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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Britannica English: Translation of ambuscade for Arabic Speakers

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