ENVOY, international law. In diplomatic language, an envoy is a minister of the second rank, on whom his sovereign or government has conferred a degree of dignity and respectability, which, without being on a level with an ambassador, immediately follows, and among ministers, yields the preeminence to him alone.
2. Envoys are either ordinary or extraordinary; by custom the latter is held in greater consideration. Vattel, liv. 4, c. 6, §72.