envoy


a diplomatic representative

TRANSLATION

envoy = der Gesandte, der Abgesandte, der Bote

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

“John Kerry, the U.S. special ENVOY on climate, is stepping down from the Biden administration in the coming weeks.”

Seung Min Kim — Associated Press (13th January 2024)

“Helping heavy-emitting sectors to decarbonise is key to reaching net zero, says the UN's climate ENVOY.”

Mark Carney — The Economist (23rd November 2023)

Did you
know?

envoy
noun

- a messenger or representative, especially one on a diplomatic mission

- someone who is sent as a representative from one government or political group to another

Oxford Languages / Collins Dictionary


WORD ORIGIN

The word "envoy" entered the English language in the early 15th century, borrowed from Middle French envoier meaning "to send”.

This French word traces back to the Vulgar Latin inviare, formed from via meaning "way" and the prefix in- meaning "in, on". So inviare literally meant "to send on one's way".

The Latin inviare evolved into Old French envoier, which by the 1400s became Modern French envoyer - "to send". The noun form "envoy" emerged in English around the same time.

In its earliest uses, "envoy" referred specifically to a messenger or agent sent on a mission to represent the interests of a state or sovereign.

By the 1600s, "envoy" broadened to refer to any appointed representative or emissary sent to serve in an official capacity or negotiate. The core essence is of a person entrusted with a special mission or duty on behalf of others.


A HOPELESS ENVOY

The Spartan king Leonidas defiantly and gallantly resisted the advance of the huge Persian army at Thermopylae.

At one point the Persians sent an envoy to Leonidas urging his surrender: "Our archers are so numerous," said the envoy, "that the flight of their arrows darkens the sun.”  "So much the better," Leonidas tartly replied, "for we shall then fight in the shade.”

In the ensuing campaign Leonidas and 300 Spartans were killed... and buried in a tomb marked by the most famous of Greek epitaphs:

"Go, stranger, and tell the Lacedaemonians* that here we lie, obedient to their commands."

*Lacedaemonian = a native or inhabitant of Lacedaemon, an area of ancient Greece comprising the city of Sparta and its surroundings.


SYNONYMS

advance agent, agent, ambassador, apostle, attaché, bearer, bellwether, broker, carrier, channel, chargé d'affaires, courier, delegate, diplomat, diplomatic courier, disciple, drogoman, emissary, ENVOY, forerunner, go-between, harbinger, herald, intermediary, legate, liaison, mediator, medium, messenger, mouthpiece, negotiator, plenipotentiary, precursor, proxy, representative, runner, shepherd, spokesman (woman), surrogate, usher, vehicle, voice


SMUGGLE OWAD into an English conversation, say something like:

“Let’s hope that the skill of government ENVOYS will smooth over the worrying conflicts of interest we are seeing in the world today.”


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