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

Has the United States turned its back on diplomacy, and on its diplomats? Barbara K. Bodine, San Francisco Chronicle, "‘War on Peace,’ by Ronan Farrow," 17 May 2018 This increased focus on diplomacy in Ireland is likely due to Brexit. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Chose an Appropriately Green Ensemble for Her Official Visit to Ireland," 10 July 2018 But members also sit in an advisory capacity on committees in the United Nations, and claim informal involvement in international diplomacy. Kristina Krug, Smithsonian, "Meet the Americans Following in the Footsteps of the Knights Templar," 28 June 2018 Photo: Getty In the run-up to the Singapore summit, Beijing grew concerned that it was being sidelined in regional diplomacy, and that Messrs. Trump and Kim could reach a deal that didn’t take into account China’s interests. Jeremy Page And Chun Han Wong, WSJ, "Kim Jong Un Meets Xi in China After Singapore Summit With Trump," 19 June 2018 That Kim would reverse course after a flurry of provocative missile launches early in Trump's term to engage in diplomacy also symbolized the change in the climate. Author: Dan Balz, Anchorage Daily News, "Analysis: Summit’s outcome rests on substance, not symbolism," 12 June 2018 Apparently Kelly and other officials privately expressed concern about Trump, who hasn’t played a role in discussions about North Korea and has very little experience in diplomacy. Lisa Ryan, The Cut, "Ivanka Trump’s Olympics Trip to South Korea Reportedly Upset White House Officials," 27 Feb. 2018 Once again, Melania Trump has stepped onto the international stage in the traditional role of first lady: an emissary of the American people, a symbol of our collective humanity - and a fashion mannequin of soft diplomacy. Robin Givhan, Houston Chronicle, "Nothing else Melania Trump wears will ever matter again," 13 July 2018 This is an enormous power that immediately creates a union that usually takes years of diplomacy between countries that are not friendly. Patrick Neas, kansascity, "Chicago Symphony conductor Riccardo Muti loves Kansas City ‘very much’," 5 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

15 Oct 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

What made you want to look up diplomacy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reject or criticize sharply

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