di·​plo·​ma·​cy | \ də-ˈplō-mə-sē How to pronounce diplomacy (audio) \

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

Fashion is diplomacy and so what did this wardrobe say? Washington Post, "Trump’s catastrophic fashion choices in England were not just a sign of bad taste," 6 June 2019 But our ability to shape events around the world through diplomacy and the application of American influence was actually quite high. Benjamin Hart, Daily Intelligencer, "A Decade at Obama’s Side: An Interview With Ben Rhodes," 17 June 2018 Overselling the fledgling deal for short-term political value, however, risks undercutting diplomacy and could make Pompeo’s job of forging a more durable and detailed disarmament plan all the more difficult. Eli Stokols, latimes.com, "As Trump declares summit a success, Pompeo begins the hard part — negotiating the details of a nuclear deal," 13 June 2018 American adults have supported working toward denuclearization of North Korea using diplomacy and peaceful efforts for many years. Grace Sparks, CNN, "Americans have long hoped for a peaceful denuclearization of North Korea," 12 June 2018 The emphasis now is on diplomacy, and making history. NBC News, "Why North Korea's 'special delivery' letter was so warmly received in the Oval Office," 1 June 2018 Representing Donald Trump in Berlin is about as demanding a job as the world of diplomacy contains. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "Trump’s Blunt Ambassador to Berlin," 6 May 2019 Both made massive infrastructure projects, designed to tie Europe and Asia, a centerpiece of their diplomacy. WSJ, "Wilhelmine Germany Is a Better Analogy for China," 27 Mar. 2019 Clear threats are often an essential component of successful diplomacy and contribute to international peace. Alex Ward, Vox, "Here’s why Trump is blasting Iran on Twitter," 23 July 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

11 Jun 2019

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 How to pronounce diplomacy (audio) \

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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