noun Also am·bush·ment.
- an act or instance of lying concealed so as to attack by surprise: The highwaymen waited in ambush near the road.
- an act or instance of attacking unexpectedly from a concealed position.
- the concealed position itself: They fired from ambush.
- those who attack suddenly and unexpectedly from a concealed position.
verb (used with object)
- to attack from ambush.
- the act of waiting in a concealed position in order to launch a surprise attack
- a surprise attack from such a position
- the concealed position from which such an attack is launched
- the person or persons waiting to launch such an attack
- to lie in wait (for)
- (tr) to attack suddenly from a concealed position
c.1300, from Old French embuscher (13c., Modern French embûcher) “to lay an ambush,” from en- “in” + busch “wood,” apparently from Frankish *busk “bush, woods” (see bush (n.)). Related: Ambushed; ambushing.
late 15c., embushe, from the English verb or from Middle French embusche, from Old French embuscher (see ambush (v.)). Earlier was ambushment (late 14c.). Figurative use by 1590s.