|1.||short for ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary; a diplomatic minister of the highest rank, accredited as permanent representative to another country or sovereign|
|2.||ambassador extraordinary a diplomatic minister of the highest rank sent on a special mission|
|3.||ambassador plenipotentiary a diplomatic minister of the first rank with treaty-signing powers|
|4.||(US) ambassador-at-large an ambassador with special duties who may be sent to more than one government|
|5.||an authorized representative or messenger|
|[C14: from Old French ambassadeur, from Italian ambasciator, from Old Provençal ambaisador, from ambaisa (unattested) mission, errand; see |
|usage The gender-neutral form is ambassador|
In the Old Testament the Hebrew word _tsir_, meaning "one who goes on an errand," is rendered thus (Josh. 9:4; Prov. 13:17; Isa. 18:2; Jer. 49:14; Obad. 1:1). This is also the rendering of _melits_, meaning "an interpreter," in 2 Chr. 32:31; and of _malak_, a "messenger," in 2 Chr. 35:21; Isa. 30:4; 33:7; Ezek. 17:15. This is the name used by the apostle as designating those who are appointed by God to declare his will (2 Cor. 5:20; Eph. 6:20). The Hebrews on various occasions and for various purposes had recourse to the services of ambassadors, e.g., to contract alliances (Josh. 9:4), to solicit favours (Num. 20:14), to remonstrate when wrong was done (Judg. 11:12), to condole with a young king on the death of his father (2 Sam. 10:2), and to congratulate a king on his accession to the throne (1 Kings 5:1). To do injury to an ambassador was to insult the king who sent him (2 Sam. 10:5).