1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Embassy

EMBASSY, the office of an ambassador, or, more generally, the mission on which an ambassador of one power is sent to another, or the body of official personages attached to such a mission, whether temporary or permanent. Hence “embassy” is often quite loosely used of any mission, diplomatic or otherwise. The word is also used of the official residence of an ambassador. “Embassy” was originally “ambassy,” the form used in the 17th century, but by the time of Johnson considered quite obsolete. “Ambassy” is from the O. Fr. ambassée, derived through such forms as the Port. ambassada, Ital. ambasciata from a lost Med. Lat. ambactiata, ambactiare, to go on a mission. (See further Ambassador, Exterritoriality and Diplomacy.)