embassy

Definitions

General English

Military

  • noun a building used by an ambassador and his or her staff

Politics

  • noun a building where an ambassador and other diplomats work in a foreign country
  • noun an ambassador and his staff, sent by a government to represent it in another country

Travel

  • noun a building where an ambassador has his or her office

Origin & History of “embassy”

Ultimately, embassy comes from the same source as ambassador, the vulgar Latin verb *ambactiāre ‘go on a mission’ (a derivative, via a rather circuitous route, of Latin ambactus ‘vassal’, which was of Celtic origin). From the verb was derived the Old French noun ambassade, which was borrowed into English in the 15th century but was gradually supplanted from the 16th century onwards by embassy, acquired from another Old French derivative ambassee.
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