di·​plo·​ma·​cy | \də-ˈplō-mə-sē \

Definition of diplomacy 

1 : the art and practice of conducting negotiations between nations

2 : skill in handling affairs without arousing hostility : tact handled the awkward situation with diplomacy

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Synonyms & Antonyms for diplomacy


tact, tactfulness


clumsiness, insensitivity, tactlessness

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Examples of diplomacy in a Sentence

She has had a long and distinguished career in diplomacy. The government avoided a war by successfully resolving the issues through diplomacy. This is a situation that calls for tactful diplomacy.
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Recent Examples on the Web

This excursion is standard first lady diplomacy — a way of encouraging friendly relations between the US and the countries hosting Melania and her entourage. Gaby Del Valle, Vox, "Melania Trump wore an Out of Africa-esque outfit during a trip to Kenya, complete with a pith helmet.," 5 Oct. 2018 However, even the most preliminary steps are snarled up in diplomacy with the Russian space agency. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Death Star: The ISS Doesn’t Have a Way to Crash Safely," 30 July 2018 Can there be fashion diplomacy after detonating the nuclear option? James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: GOP candidates caught in a bind on Medicaid," 13 July 2018 Can there be fashion diplomacy after detonating the nuclear option? Robin Givhan, Houston Chronicle, "Nothing else Melania Trump wears will ever matter again," 13 July 2018 What Happened: The G7 Summit has arrived in Canada, bringing with it the whirling dervish that is international diplomacy in the age of Donald Trump. Graeme Mcmillan, WIRED, "While You Were Offline: International House of ... Breakfast? Bacon? Befuddlement?," 10 June 2018 This summer's summit, for instance, fits North Korea's standard pattern of diplomacy. Salgu Wissmath, The Courier-Journal, "The U.S.-North Korean summit hits close to home for some in Louisville," 10 June 2018 Osterholm said that global health aid and assistance is a form of diplomacy. Helen Branswell, STAT, "China may compete with the West for limited opportunities to test Ebola vaccine," 8 June 2018 But this year, with the sudden burst of diplomacy, had appeared to be different. The Washington Post, cleveland.com, "North Korea threatens to cancel summit with Trump over military drills," 15 May 2018

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

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First Known Use of diplomacy

1766, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for diplomacy

see diplomatic

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Statistics for diplomacy

Last Updated

26 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for diplomacy

The first known use of diplomacy was in 1766

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More Definitions for diplomacy



English Language Learners Definition of diplomacy

: the work of maintaining good relations between the governments of different countries

: skill in dealing with others without causing bad feelings


di·​plo·​ma·​cy | \də-ˈplō-mə-sē \

Kids Definition of diplomacy

1 : the work of keeping good relations between the governments of different countries

2 : skill in dealing with people

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Comments on diplomacy

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