A legation is a smaller, slightly less important embassy. In other words, it's an office for one country's official representatives in another country.

While legations were once much more popular than embassies, they mostly disappeared after World War II. In both kinds of outposts, groups from a foreign country are sent to represent their home state within a host country. Think of the Ethiopian and French embassies in Washington D.C. Legation is an Old French word that comes from the Latin legationem, "the office of an ambassador." The head of a legation was usually called a "minister."

Definitions of legation
  1. noun
    a permanent diplomatic mission headed by a minister
    synonyms: foreign mission
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    type of:
    diplomatic mission
    a mission serving diplomatic ends
  2. noun
    the post or office of legate
    synonyms: legateship
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    type of:
    berth, billet, office, place, position, post, situation, spot
    a job in an organization
Word Family

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