Thursday, June 10, 2010

Word of the Day 6/10/2010

Ambuscade (noun): a trap in which concealed persons lie in wait to attack by surprise; also : the persons so concealed or their position

Example Sentence: "They were apprized of the ambuscade by one of the flanking party, before the Indians fired upon them…." (George Washington, letter, August 4, 1756)

Did you know?: "Ambuscade" derives from Middle French "embuscade," a modification of an Old Italian word formed by combining the prefix "in-" and the Latin noun "bosco," meaning "forest." This is appropriate, since many such surprise attacks have involved the attacking force hiding out in and emerging from a wooded area. "Ambuscade" has not changed in meaning since General Washington’s day, though nowadays we are more likely to use its synonym "ambush." That word actually took a slightly different path to English -- via Middle English "embushen," from Anglo-French "en-" ("in-") and "busche" ("log" or "firewood") -- though the two words ultimately share a relationship.

Merriam-Webster Word of the Day

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