from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A specially equipped vehicle used to transport the sick or injured.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A hospital establishment which accompanies an army in its movements in the field for the purpose of providing speedy assistance to soldiers wounded in battle.
  • noun A two- or four-wheeled wagon constructed for conveying sick or wounded persons.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A field hospital, so organized as to follow an army in its movements, and intended to succor the wounded as soon as possible. Often used adjectively
  • noun An ambulance wagon or cart for conveying the wounded from the field, or to a hospital.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An emergency vehicle that transports sick or injured people to a hospital.
  • noun military A mobile field hospital.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a vehicle that takes people to and from hospitals


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[French, from (hôpital) ambulant, mobile (hospital), from Latin ambulāns, ambulant-, present participle of ambulāre, to walk; see ambhi in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French ambulance, from ambulant ("walking, shifting"), from Latin ambulare ("to walk, go about").


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word ambulance.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • I have a friend who consistently pronounces this am-blee-ance.

    I can't believe this posted three times. How irritating.

    April 19, 2008

  • Plethora, if you "edit" your comment and repost it, you'll get a little "delete" option for a minute or so. You can delete some of your duplicate posts that way--if you were so inclined.

    April 20, 2008

  • Huzzah! You're my hero, c_b. I double posted a lot late last night and I was becoming incredibly annoyed with myself.

    April 20, 2008

  • Also the title of a tremendous song by TV on the Radio. This video doesn't do it justice; but it's well worth downloading the mps3.

    I like how the manual for Wordie is spread out over a bunch of random words like "ambulance." Though I suppose people who don't know how to use the site are less amused. Perhaps a new tag is in order: faq.

    April 20, 2008

  • I like how it's spread out too, John. Picking up little tidbits at random intervals makes them easy to remember.

    April 20, 2008

  • Plethora, you're doing it again.

    Plethora, you're (sort of) doing it again.

    I must register mild dissent about the Wordie manual. Randomly scattering basic Wordie tips across the site like Easter eggs, with no discernible retrieval capacity, is not really quirkily charming. An FAQ page would be terrific, or appropriate deployment of an FAQ tag.

    April 20, 2008

  • Gah. I think it's because I'm used to much faster internet than I'm using at the moment. I did actually refresh this page to check if my edit had created a whole new comment, but it didn't show up :(

    April 20, 2008

  • The ambulance for people with slow illnesses.

    September 28, 2008