ENVOY (Fr. envoyé, "sent"), a diplomatic agent of the second rank. The word envoyé comes first into general use in this connexion in the 17th century, as a translation of the Lat. ablegatus or missus (see Diplomacy). Hence the word envoy is commonly used of any one sent on a mission of any sort.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)