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

  • n. An ambush.
  • transitive v. To attack suddenly and without warning from a concealed place; ambush. See Synonyms at ambush.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An ambush; a trap laid for an enemy.
  • v. To lie in wait for, or to attack from a covert or lurking place; to waylay.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A lying in a wood, concealed, for the purpose of attacking an enemy by surprise. Hence: A lying in wait, and concealed in any situation, for a like purpose; a snare laid for an enemy; an ambush.
  • n. A place in which troops lie hid, to attack an enemy unexpectedly.
  • n. The body of troops lying in ambush.
  • intransitive v. To lie in ambush.
  • transitive v. To post or conceal in ambush; to ambush.
  • transitive v. To lie in wait for, or to attack from a covert or lurking place; to waylay.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To attack from a concealed position.
  • To lie in ambush: as, “ambuscading ways,”
  • n. A lying in wait and concealment for the purpose of attacking by surprise; an ambush.
  • n. A secret station in which troops lie concealed with a view to attacking suddenly and by surprise; an ambush.
  • n. A body of troops lying in ambush.

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

  • n. the act of concealing yourself and lying in wait to attack by surprise
  • v. wait in hiding to attack


French embuscade (from Old French embuschier, to ambush) and Old Italian imboscata (from feminine past participle of imboscare, to ambush), both from Frankish *boscu, bush, woods.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
French embuscade, from Italian imboscata, or Spanish emboscada, from emboscar ("to ambush"), from Late Latin imboscare, from Frankish *boscu, *busk (“bush”), from Proto-Germanic *busk- (“bush, heavy stick”). More at bush. (Wiktionary)


  • Wherefore, then, did he steal in ambuscade into my palace, but to betray either my honor or my life, – perhaps both!

    The Scottish Chiefs

  • The Amalekites and Canaanites, who had been lying in ambuscade expecting their movement, rushed down upon them from the heights and became the instruments of punishing their guilty rebellion.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

  • Lord Beaufort surprised them by a clever ambuscade from the stable wall; he told Mary he had been quite mistaken and wrong in what he had asserted, and he was sorry that she had overheard it.

    The Semi-Attached Couple

  • Mr Campion shuddered to think of the kind of ambuscade Uncle William might have arranged had he ever conceived the idea of such a method of shelving the suspicion against him.

    Police at the Funeral

  • He had another encounter with the wild-dog, who treacherously attacked him in flank from ambuscade.


  • When a few weeks later it was reported in the papers that Wilcox had been shot at from an ambuscade, it was an open secret that McMurdo was still at work upon his unfinished job.


  • They were going down the path, directly beneath the ambuscade!

    The Green-Eyed Shwemyethna

  • It was a troubled time, with the world upside down, and we scratching with our fingernails to hold the Ruskis back by foray and ambuscade; in such disorders, anything is possible, even a woman fighting-chief.

    The Sky Writer

  • If you are still reading this and have not clicked over to Blogger #2145's latest Sarah Palin ambuscade, you may suspect this blog falls within the parameters of The Most Fascinating Person I Have Known or A Teacher Who Changed My Life and you would be right on both counts.

    Spencer Green: A True American Idol

  • But hand me that great-coat, Captain, and we will place the instruments in ambuscade, until they are called into action in due time.

    Saint Ronan's Well


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  • from Carlyle's "Sartor Resartus"

    January 11, 2009

  • Just a so-much-cooler way to say 'ambush'.

    August 18, 2008