From Old French embusche (noun), embushier, embuissier (verb), from Old French em- + Vulgar Latin boscus, bosca, boscum ‎(wood), from Frankish *boscu, *busk ‎(bush), from Proto-Germanic *busk- ‎(bush, heavy stick). Compare ambuscade. The change to am- from earlier forms in en- is unexplained. More at bush.



ambush ‎(plural ambushes)

  1. The act of concealing oneself and lying in wait to attack by surprise.
  2. An attack launched from a concealed position.
    • Milton
      Heaven, whose high walls fear no assault or siege / Or ambush from the deep.
  3. The troops posted in a concealed place, for attacking by surprise; those who lie in wait.
    • Bible, Josh. viii. 19
      The ambush arose quickly out of their place.

Derived termsEdit


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ambush ‎(third-person singular simple present ambushes, present participle ambushing, simple past and past participle ambushed)

  1. (transitive) To station in ambush with a view to surprise an enemy.
    • Dryden
      By ambushed men behind their temple laid / We have the king of Mexico betrayed.
  2. (transitive) To attack by ambush; to waylay.


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