ambush /ˈambʊʃ/


I. noun

a surprise attack by people lying in wait in a concealed position

seven members of a patrol were killed in an ambush
[ mass noun]
there might be terrorists waiting in ambush.
II. verb [with obj.]

1. make a surprise attack on (someone) from a concealed position

they were ambushed and taken prisoner by the enemy.
2. confront (someone) suddenly and unexpectedly with unwelcome questions

Tory representatives were ambushed by camera crews.
– origin Middle English (in the sense ‘place troops in hiding in order to surprise an enemy’): from Old French embusche (noun), embuschier (verb), based on a late Latin word meaning ‘to place in a wood’; related to bush1.

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