Definition of ambuscade in US English:



  • An ambush.

    • ‘If nothing else, the ambuscade - traditionally dated August 15, 778 - did take place.’
    • ‘In politics, as in war, we meet with certain ardent minds which never understand the utility of marches, counter marches, ambuscades, and affairs of outposts.’
    • ‘The group were active in the late 1980s and used to conduct daring ambuscades on mostly abusive police and local officials.’
    • ‘‘I grew up with it, getting to know the various places of battles, skirmishes, sieges, ambuscades, ancient strongholds and war trails,’ wrote William.’
    ambush, lure, decoy, bait
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[with object]archaic
  • 1Attack from an ambush.

    • ‘During an expedition to the frontier for the object of punishing a marauding party, his company was ambuscaded and made a desperate resistance, but were overpowered and put to flight.’
    • ‘But Rosie broke the compact and ambuscaded the poor fellow.’
    • ‘It was evident that the enemy were ambuscaded in great force.’
    • ‘I again succeeded in ambuscading them, which caused them to give up pursuit for the night.’
    • ‘Colbert hastily collected the old men and boys of the tribe, and ambuscaded the Creeks so successfully that not one of them escaped.’
    • ‘On December 28th he attempted to march from Tampa to Fort King, but his command was ambuscaded and one hundred and fifteen officers and men massacred.’
    • ‘Warnings that war would soon be commenced, in the customary way, by the ambuscading of stragglers or the murder of settlers, reached the authorities, but little notice was taken of them.’
    • ‘Brown was opposed to the pursuit, and told Patrick he feared they would be ambuscaded.’
    • ‘In 1823 a party under Jones and Immell left Fort Benton for the Three Forks and were ambuscaded on their return trip.’
    • ‘Foraging soldiers from the fort were ambuscaded.’
    snare, entrap, ensnare, enmesh, lay a trap for
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    1. 1.1no object Lie in ambush.
      ‘ambuscaded thousands might swarm up over the embankment’
      • ‘At this moment the ambuscading forces made themselves known, and displaying hats on the muzzles of their guns made a showing of twice their actual number.’
      • ‘Skirmishing continued the entire night, the enemy ambuscading wherever opportunity offered.’
      • ‘Accordingly, when they landed the third time, the women were all singing in a house, round which the men were ambuscaded.’
      • ‘The three nations ambuscaded and when the visitors had disembarked they attacked and destroyed them.’
      • ‘On the remaining side was a ravine in which the ambuscading party was hidden.’


Late 16th century: from French embuscade, from Italian imboscata, Spanish emboscada, or Portuguese embuscada, based on a late Latin word meaning ‘to place in a wood’; related to bush.