from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One of the two raised stands in early Christian churches from which parts of the service were chanted or read.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A raised platform in an early Christian church; a podium or pulpit.
  • n. An ambulance driver.
  • n. An ambulance.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A large pulpit or reading desk, in the early Christian churches.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In early Christian churches and basilicas, a raised desk or pulpit from which certain parts of the service were read or chanted and sermons were preached.
  • n. In anatomy, a circumferential fibrocartilage; a fibrocartilaginous ring surrounding an articular cavity, as the glenoid fossa of the scapula and the cotyloid fossa of the innominate bone. Also written ambon.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a platform raised above the surrounding level to give prominence to the person on it


Medieval Latin, from Greek ambōn, raised edge.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Late Latin ambō, from Ancient Greek ἄμβων (ambon). (Wiktionary)
Shortening of ambulance + -o. (Wiktionary)



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  • "Writing mixes up the seasons, resolving the usual jumble of hot and cold, summer or winter: it reflects the messiness of the body more than any primordial law: it is chaos more than fiat, a battle of giants meant to obstruct the desire to invent oneself according to some divine order: it is with us, a descent, subterranean, underworld, regression, a groping toward totality: it is the gallery that cuts through the edifice end to end, the ambo breaking up the uniformity of narrative space."
    Talismano by Abdelwahab Meddeb, translated by Jane Kuntz, p 43 of the Dalkey Archive Press paperback

    September 18, 2011

  • That citation surely refers to an abbreviation of ambulance?

    July 25, 2008

  • Ha! Just read that same article, EV. :-)

    October 16, 2007

  • The blue lights of an ambulance and a police car, which were featured in the homeless-people scene, pulsed in the darkness. Simon stood in the middle of it all, and crew members ran up to him with the smallest of questions: Do you like the way they’ve laid out the sleeping bags? What about the way the ambo and the squad car are positioned? (The New Yorker)

    October 16, 2007