From Middle English enbuschen, from Old French enbuscier, anbuchier (verb) (whence Middle French embusche (noun)), from Old French en- + Vulgar Latin boscus (“wood”), from Frankish *busk (“bush”), from Proto-Germanic *buskaz (“bush, heavy stick”). Compare ambuscade. The change to am- from earlier forms in en- is unexplained. More at bush.
ambush (plural ambushes)
- The act of concealing oneself and lying in wait to attack by surprise.
- An attack launched from a concealed position.
1667, John Milton, “Book II”, in Paradise Lost. […], London: […] [Samuel Simmons], […], OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554:
Heaven, whose high walls fear no assault or siege / Or ambush from the deep.
- The concealed position or state from which a surprise attack is launched.
c. 1587–1588, [Christopher Marlowe], Tamburlaine the Great. […] The First Part […], part 1, 2nd edition, London: […] [R. Robinson for] Richard Iones, […], published 1592, OCLC 932920499; reprinted as Tamburlaine the Great (A Scolar Press Facsimile), Menston, Yorkshire; London: Scolar Press, 1973, →ISBN, Act II, scene ii:
the Georgean hills,
Whoſe tops are couered with Tartarian theeues,
That lie in ambuſh, waiting for a pray:
- The troops posted in a concealed place, for attacking by surprise; those who lie in wait.
1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), London: […] Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981, Joshua 8:19:
And the ambush arose quickly out of their place, and they ranne as soone as he had stretched out his hand: and they entred into the city, and tooke it, and hasted, and set the citie on fire.
Translations to be checked
- Italian: imboscata (it) f
- Japanese: 待ち伏せ (ja) (まちぶせ, machibuse) ; 不意打ち (ja) (ふいうち, fuiuchi)
- Latin: īnsidiae f pl
- Lithuanian: (please verify) pasala f
- Macedonian: заседа f (zaseda)
- Maori: kuratopuni, kauaeroa, torohē, urumaranga, pūniho
- Polish: zasadzka (pl) f
- Portuguese: emboscada (pt) f ; tocaia (pt) f
- Cyrillic: за̑сједа f, за̑седа f
- Roman: zȃsjeda (sh) f, zȃseda (sh) f
- Spanish: encerrona
- Swedish: bakhåll (sv) n ; bakhåll (sv) n
- Tagalog: abat (tl)
- Turkish: pusu (tr), tuzak (tr)
- Vietnamese: đánh úp (vi), mai phục (vi)
ambush (third-person singular simple present ambushes, present participle ambushing, simple past and past participle ambushed)
- (transitive) To station in ambush with a view to surprise an enemy.
- (transitive) To attack by ambush; to waylay.
2018 June 17, Barney Ronay, “Mexico’s Hirving Lozano stuns world champions Germany for brilliant win”, in Katharine Viner, editor, The Guardian, London: Guardian News & Media, ISSN 0261-3077, OCLC 229952407, archived from the original on 5 August 2019:
The contrast with the start was profound. In the opening 40 minutes Löw’s team had been ambushed here, the world champions run into a state of breathless trauma by a thrillingly vibrant Mexico attack.
to station in ambush with a view to surprise an enemy
to attack by ambush; to waylay
- ambush at OneLook Dictionary Search
- ambush in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911