am·bas·sa·dor (ăm-băsə-dər, -dôr′)
1. A diplomatic official of the highest rank appointed and accredited as representative in residence by one government or sovereign to another, usually for a specific length of time.
2. A diplomatic official heading his or her country's permanent mission to certain international organizations, such as the United Nations.
3. An authorized messenger or representative.
4. An unofficial representative: ambassadors of goodwill.
[Middle English ambassadour, from Old French ambassadeur, from Medieval Latin ambactia, mission, from Latin ambactus, servant, ultimately of Celtic origin; see ag- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
am·bas′sa·dori·al (-dôrē-əl) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.