Definitions

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

  • noun A sudden attack made from a concealed position.
  • noun Those hiding in order to attack by surprise.
  • noun The hiding place used for such an attack.
  • transitive verb To attack from a concealed position.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To post or place in concealment for the purpose of attacking by surprise.
  • To ambuscade; waylay; attack unexpectedly and from a hidden position.
  • To lie in wait for the purpose of attacking by surprise.
  • noun The act or state of lying concealed for the purpose of attacking by surprise; a lying in wait; the act of attacking unexpectedly from a concealed position.
  • noun A secret or concealed station where troops lie in wait to attack unawares.
  • noun The troops posted in a concealed place for attacking by surprise.

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

  • transitive verb To station in ambush with a view to surprise an enemy.
  • transitive verb To attack by ambush; to waylay.
  • intransitive verb To lie in wait, for the purpose of attacking by surprise; to lurk.
  • noun A disposition or arrangement of troops for attacking an enemy unexpectedly from a concealed station. Hence: Unseen peril; a device to entrap; a snare.
  • noun A concealed station, where troops or enemies lie in wait to attack by surprise.
  • noun obsolete The troops posted in a concealed place, for attacking by surprise; liers in wait.
  • noun to post a force in ambush.

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

  • noun The act of concealing oneself and lying in wait to attack by surprise.
  • noun An attack launched from a concealed position.
  • verb transitive To station in ambush with a view to surprise an enemy.
  • verb transitive To attack by ambush; to waylay.

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

  • verb wait in hiding to attack
  • verb hunt (quarry) by stalking and ambushing
  • noun the act of concealing yourself and lying in wait to attack by surprise

Etymologies

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

[Middle English embushen, to place in concealment among bushes, lay in wait, from Old French embuschier, from Frankish *boscu, bush, woods.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.

Examples

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