emissary

noun
em·​is·​sary | \ ˈe-mə-ˌser-ē How to pronounce emissary (audio) , -ˌse-rē \
plural emissaries

Definition of emissary

1 : one designated as the agent of another : representative
2 : a secret agent

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Did You Know?

Like missionaries, emissaries are sent on missions. However, emissaries are more likely to be representing governments, political leaders, and nonreligious institutions, and an emissary's mission is usually to negotiate or to gather information. So a president may send a trusted emissary to a war-torn region to discuss peace terms. A company's CEO may send an emissary to check out another company that they may be thinking of buying. And a politician may send out an emissary to persuade a wealthy individual to become a supporter.

Examples of emissary in a Sentence

She acted as the president's personal emissary to the union leaders. most of the industrialized nations of the world sent emissaries to the conference on global warming
Recent Examples on the Web Focused first on the general election and then on baseless attempts to reverse its outcome, Mr. Trump has largely been sidelined from the negotiations, instead dispatching Mr. Mnuchin as his main emissary. New York Times, "Trump’s Attack on Coronavirus Relief Divides G.O.P. and Threatens Recovery," 23 Dec. 2020 After serving together in the Senate for nearly three decades, Biden was frequently the Obama administration’s emissary to Capitol Hill when the former president needed to cut deals with McConnell, a Kentucky Republican. Keith Laing, Fortune, "Biden infrastructure package in jeopardy as bi-partisan cooperation fails to launch," 23 Nov. 2020 Around the Beer Summit table, Biden could not only be a unifying White emissary but also give voice to issues of injustice and discrimination that Obama preferred to sidestep. Washington Post, "What does Obama really think about Biden? His memoir doesn’t say.," 18 Nov. 2020 Although an affair could come to light in any number of ways, it’s notably Vittoria, the emissary of the Industrial Zone, who reveals it. Elaine Blair, The New York Review of Books, "Making Order of the Breakdown," 24 Sep. 2020 In 1939, shortly before the German invasion of Poland, a British emissary, Lord Lothian, visited the White House with an unusual request. Daniel Immerwahr, The New Yorker, "Should America Still Police the World?," 18 Nov. 2020 Although an affair could come to light in any number of ways, it’s notably Vittoria, the emissary of the Industrial Zone, who reveals it. Elaine Blair, The New York Review of Books, "Making Order of the Breakdown," 24 Sep. 2020 For his efforts, Mr. Randi was condemned as an emissary of the devil, receiving hate mail and threats veiled in biblical references. Washington Post, "James Randi, magician and stage artist devoted to debunking the paranormal, dies at 92," 21 Oct. 2020 This Martin is an emissary from the past and a warning for the present. Mark Olsen Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Indie Focus: Much-needed joy in ‘David Byrne’s American Utopia’," 16 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'emissary.' 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 emissary

1607, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for emissary

Latin emissarius, from emissus, past participle of emittere

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Time Traveler for emissary

Time Traveler

The first known use of emissary was in 1607

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Last Updated

11 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Emissary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/emissary. Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for emissary

emissary

noun
How to pronounce emissary (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of emissary

: a person who is sent on a mission to represent another person or organization

emissary

noun
em·​is·​sary | \ ˈe-mə-ˌser-ē How to pronounce emissary (audio) \
plural emissaries

Kids Definition of emissary

: a person sent on a mission to represent someone else

emissary

noun
em·​is·​sary | \ ˈe-mə-ˌser-ē How to pronounce emissary (audio) \
plural emissaries

Legal Definition of emissary

: a representative usually empowered to act more or less independently (as in collecting or conveying information or in negotiating)

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