Definitions

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

  • n. The act of lying in wait to attack by surprise.
  • n. A sudden attack made from a concealed position.
  • n. Those hiding in order to attack by surprise.
  • n. The hiding place used for this.
  • n. A hidden peril or trap.
  • transitive v. To attack from a concealed position.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. A secret or concealed station where troops lie in wait to attack unawares.
  • n. The troops posted in a concealed place for attacking by surprise.

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

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

Etymologies

Middle English embush, from Old French embusche, from embuschier, to ambush, from Frankish *boscu, bush, woods.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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