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From Old High German ampula ‎(vessel), from Latin ampulla ‎(two-handled vessel). The sense development was vesselhanging lamp (in or shaped like a vessel)traffic light.


  • IPA(key): /ˈʔampl̩/, /ˈʔampəl/
  • (file)


Ampel f ‎(genitive Ampel, plural Ampeln)

  1. traffic light
  2. (politics, Germany) coalition consisting of the SPD, FDP, and the Green Party (derived from the colors red, yellow and green representing these parties)
    • 2010, Der Spiegel, issue 22/2010, page 13:
      Alles ist möglich. Das ist bislang die Botschaft, die führende Sozialdemokraten in Berlin und in Düsseldorf verbreiten. Eine Ampel mit FDP und Grünen, eine Minderheitsregierung, Neuwahlen, […]
      Everything is possible. That is the message that is spread up to now by leading Social Democrats in Berlin and Düsseldorf. A "traffic light coalition" with the FDP and Green Party, a minority government, new elections, […]
  3. lamp which hangs from the ceiling
  4. container (e.g. for a plant) which hangs from the ceiling


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