What does ambush mean?

Definitions for ambush
ˈæm bʊʃam·bush

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word ambush.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. ambush, ambuscade, lying in wait, trapverb

    the act of concealing yourself and lying in wait to attack by surprise

  2. ambush, scupper, bushwhack, waylay, lurk, ambuscade, lie in waitverb

    wait in hiding to attack

  3. still-hunt, ambushverb

    hunt (quarry) by stalking and ambushing


  1. ambushnoun

    The act of concealing oneself and lying in wait to attack by surprise.

  2. ambushnoun

    An attack launched from a concealed position.

  3. ambushverb

    To station in ambush with a view to surprise an enemy.

  4. ambushverb

    To attack by ambush; to waylay.

  5. Etymology: From embusche (noun), embushier, embuissier (verb), from em- + boscus, of origin, from *, from busk-. Compare ambuscade. The change to am- from earlier forms in en- is unexplained. More at bush.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Ambushnoun

    Etymology: embusche, Fr. from bois a wood; whence embuscher, to hide in woods, ambushes being commonly laid under the concealment of thick forests.

    Charge, charge, their ground the faint Taxallans yield,
    Bold in close ambush, base in open field. John Dryden, Indian Emperour.

    Nor shall we need,
    With dangerous expedition, to invade
    Heav’n, whose high walls fear no assault or siege,
    Or ambush from the deep. John Milton, Par. Lost, b. ii.

    The residue retired deceitfully towards the place of their ambush, whence issued more. Then the earl gathered his small company about him, and maintained the fight. But the enemy, whether perceiving some succours advancing, or whether intending to draw the English further into their ambush, turned away at an easy pace. John Hayward.

    For you, my noble lord of Lancaster,
    Once did I lay an ambush for your life. William Shakespeare, Richard II.


  1. Ambush

    An ambush is a long-established military tactic in which a combatant uses an advantage of concealment or the element of surprise to attack unsuspecting enemy combatants from concealed positions, such as among dense underbrush or behind mountaintops. Ambushes have been used consistently throughout history, from ancient to modern warfare. In the 20th century, an ambush might involve thousands of soldiers on a large scale, such as over a choke point such as a mountain pass, or a small irregulars band or insurgent group attacking a regular armed force patrols. Theoretically, a single well-armed and concealed soldier could ambush other troops in a surprise attack. Sometimes an ambush can involve the exclusive or combined use of improvised explosive devices, that allow the attackers to hit enemy convoys or patrols while minimizing the risk of being exposed to return fire.


  1. ambush

    An ambush is a surprise attack by people hiding in concealed positions on individuals or a group. This strategy is often used in military tactics or hunting, where the attacker waits for the target to move into a predetermined location before launching the attack, aiming to catch the enemy off guard. It can also refer to any situation where someone is unexpectedly confronted, often in an unwelcome or uncomfortable way.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Ambushverb

    a disposition or arrangement of troops for attacking an enemy unexpectedly from a concealed station. Hence: Unseen peril; a device to entrap; a snare

  2. Ambushverb

    a concealed station, where troops or enemies lie in wait to attack by surprise

  3. Ambushverb

    the troops posted in a concealed place, for attacking by surprise; liers in wait

  4. Ambushverb

    to station in ambush with a view to surprise an enemy

  5. Ambushverb

    to attack by ambush; to waylay

  6. Ambushverb

    to lie in wait, for the purpose of attacking by surprise; to lurk

  7. Etymology: [OE. enbussen, enbushen, OF. embushier, embuissier, F. embcher, embusquer, fr. LL. imboscare; in + LL. boscus, buscus, a wood; akin to G. bush, E. bush. See Ambuscade, Bush.]


  1. Ambush

    An ambush is a long-established military tactic, in which the aggressors take advantage of concealment and the element of surprise to attack an unsuspecting enemy from concealed positions, such as among dense underbrush or behind hilltops. Ambushes have been used consistently throughout history, from ancient to modern warfare.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Ambush

    am′boosh, n. and v. same meanings as Ambuscade.—n. Am′bushment (B.), ambush. [O. Fr. embusche (mod. embûche), embuscher, Low L. emboscārein-, in, and boscus, a bush.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. ambush

    Signifies an attempt to lie in concealment for the purpose of surprising the enemy without his perceiving the intention until he is attacked.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. ambush

    A place of concealment where an enemy may be surprised by a sudden attack.

Suggested Resources

  1. ambush

    Song lyrics by ambush -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by ambush on the Lyrics.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Ambush is ranked #54296 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Ambush surname appeared 380 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Ambush.

    80% or 304 total occurrences were Black.
    9.4% or 36 total occurrences were White.
    7.8% or 30 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    1.3% or 5 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.

How to pronounce ambush?

How to say ambush in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of ambush in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of ambush in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of ambush in a Sentence

  1. Brandon Judd:

    We don’t know exactly what happened because we weren’t there, however, just from agents that were working in the area, reports are saying it was an attack and it would appear to be an ambush.

  2. Audrey Strauss:

    As alleged, Cole Bridges betrayed the oath he swore to defend Manhattan US by attempting to provide ISIS with tactical military advice to ambush and kill his fellow service members, our troops risk their lives for our country, but they should never face such peril at the hands of one of their own.

  3. Jesse Watters:

    Now you go in for the kill shot. The kill shot ? With an ambush ? Deadly. Because he doesn't see it coming.

  4. Patrick Murphy:

    Serving as a member of the 82ndAirborne Division, I led convoys up and down ambush alley in Baghdad, i wished the folks in Washington understood war and what we’re asking of our sons and daughters.

  5. John Kerry:

    No, you don't, Mr. The President, you will never know what it is like to be in a foxhole or be in the front lines, be in an ambush, to be shot at, see your best friend killed in war, and I object to that.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for ambush

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for ambush »


Find a translation for the ambush definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"ambush." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 22 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/ambush>.

Discuss these ambush definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for ambush? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    be contingent upon (something that is elided)
    A aggravate
    B depend
    C jeopardize
    D blur

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for ambush: