en·voy | \ˈen-ˌvȯi, ˈän- \

Definition of envoy 

1a : a minister plenipotentiary accredited to a foreign government who ranks between an ambassador and a minister resident

called also envoy extraordinary

b : a person delegated to represent one government in its dealings with another

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Examples of envoy in a Sentence

the president sent the secretary of state as his personal envoy to gain the support of the country's allies one of the hostage takers was chosen as the group's envoy for all dealings with the authorities

Recent Examples on the Web

United Nations special envoy Martin Griffiths, meanwhile, arrived in Sanaa in an effort to broker a cease-fire. NBC News, "Saudi-led forces seize airport in Yemen port city of Hodeida," 16 June 2018 Up until Monday evening, North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui and U.S. envoy Sung Kim continued last-minute working-level negotiations on a possible agreement for Trump and Kim to present as tangible results from their summit. Matt Stiles, latimes.com, "Trump becomes first U.S. president to meet a North Korean head of state; 'major change' coming," 12 June 2018 President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, said in an interview in Moscow on Friday. Henry Meyer, Bloomberg.com, "Talk to Taliban or Fight Endless Afghan War, Russia Tells U.S.," 20 May 2018 Flashing a sphinx-like smile and without ever speaking in public, Ms. Kim managed to outflank Mr. Trump’s envoy to the Olympics, Vice President Mike Pence, in the game of diplomatic image-making. Motoko Rich And Choe Sang-hun, New York Times, "Kim Jong-un’s Sister Turns On the Charm, Taking Pence’s Spotlight," 11 Feb. 2018 Last week, Liu He, President Xi Jinping’s top economic envoy, instructed a group of prominent Chinese economists to hold a roundtable discussion on the impact of a trade war with the U.S. on the Chinese economy. Lingling Wei, WSJ, "‘Shocked’ by Latest U.S. Tariff Plan, Beijing Seeks Retaliatory Action," 11 July 2018 Trump on Friday said the summit is going to happen after receiving a letter from Kim that was hand-delivered to the White House by the North's envoy, Vice Chairman Kim Yong Chol. Oren Dorell, USA TODAY, "The U.S.-North Korea summit is back on, but who is going to pay Kim Jong Un's hotel bill?," 3 June 2018 Kim’s to letter to Moon was personally delivered by Kim’s sister, who attended the Olympics as a special envoy, and was covered by a blue folder emblazoned with a golden seal. Kim Tong-hyung, The Seattle Times, "Pushing the envelope: Why was Kim’s letter for Trump so big?," 2 June 2018 In 1999, he was appointed UN special envoy to East Timor, a former Portuguese colony that successfully fought for independence from Indonesia, achieving it in 2002 after a war in which more than 100,000 civilians were reported killed. Salman Masood, BostonGlobe.com, "Jamsheed Marker, leading Pakistani diplomat, dies at 95," 30 June 2018

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

1635, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for envoy

French envoyé, from past participle of envoyer to send, from Old French enveier

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Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

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The first known use of envoy was in 1635

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English Language Learners Definition of envoy

: a person who is sent by one government to represent it in dealing with another government


en·voy | \ˈen-ˌvȯi, ˈän-\

Kids Definition of envoy

1 : a representative sent by one government to another

2 : messenger

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Comments on envoy

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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