[em-buh-see] /ˈɛm bə si/

noun, plural embassies.
a body of persons entrusted with a mission to a sovereign or government, especially an ambassador and his or her staff.
the official headquarters of an ambassador.
the function or office of an ambassador.
a mission headed by an ambassador.
noun (pl) -sies
the residence or place of official business of an ambassador
an ambassador and his entourage collectively
the position, business, or mission of an ambassador
any important or official mission, duty, etc, esp one undertaken by an agent

1570s, “position of an ambassador,” from Middle French embassee “mission, charge, office of ambassador,” Old French ambassee, from Italian ambasciata, from Old Provençal ambaisada “office of ambassador,” from Gaulish *ambactos “dependant, vassal,” literally “one going around,” from PIE *amb(i)-ag-to, from *ambi- (see ambi-) + *ambi- “around” (see ambi-) + *ag- “to drive, move” (see act (n.)).

Meaning “official residence and retinue of an ambassador” is from 1764. In earlier use were embassade (late 15c.), ambassade (early 15c.).


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