ambiguous vs ambivalent

ambiguous ambivalent


  • 1) Open to multiple interpretations.
  • 2) Of persons: hesitant; uncertain; not taking sides.
  • 3) Vague and unclear.
  • 4) Doubtful or uncertain.
  • 5) Doubtful or uncertain, particularly in respect to signification; capable of being understood in either of two or more possible senses; equivocal
  • 6) having no intrinsic or objective meaning; not organized in conventional patterns
  • 7) having more than one possible meaning
  • 8) Of doubtful purport; open to various interpretations; having a double meaning; equivocal.
  • 9) Synonyms Equivocal, etc. (see obscure), indeterminate, indefinite, indistinct, not clear, not plain, amphibolous, dubious, vague, enigmatical, dark, blind.
  • 10) Wavering; undecided; hesitating: as, “ambiguous in all their doings,” Milton, Eikono-klastes (1649), p. 239.
  • 11) Of doubtful or uncertain nature; wanting clearness or definiteness; difficult to comprehend or distinguish; indistinct; obscure.
  • 12) Using obscure or equivocal language.


  • 1) Simultaneously experiencing or expressing opposing or contradictory feelings, beliefs, or motivations.
  • 2) Alternately having one opinion or feeling, and then the opposite.
  • 3) Exhibiting or feeling ambivalence.
  • 4) undecided as to whether or not to take a proposed course of action; having feelings both for and against the proposed action.
  • 5) uncertain or unable to decide about what course to follow


  • 1) Or a person could appeal to ambiguous language.
  • 2) But on closer inspection it represents something rather more ambiguous and conflicted.
  • 3) On questions of policy the message is more ambiguous.
  • 4) It was just such an ambiguous role for her.
  • 5) It was a pretty ambiguous relationship.
  • 6) The background is extensively researched; the tragic story of betrayed romance is presented as morally ambiguous.
  • 7) In fact, she was something altogether more ambiguous.
  • 8) Critics slammed it as confusing, ambiguous and complex.
  • 9) The current language of the Bill is ambiguous and unclear in the attempt to reconcile different and sometimes contradictory objectives.
  • 10) Relationships are ambiguous and your dilemma is particularly difficult, but mapping out options and outcomes might help to make things clearer.
  • 11) In many pieces, what seems to be a transparent contemporary reference in the opening lines is followed by something vague or ambiguous.
  • 12) Sport is vivid, compelling, ambiguous and open to all kinds of subjective interpretations.
  • 13) It is not an ambiguous message, it is much worse than that: pure poetry.
  • 14) In the lives of nations, as distinguished from the lives of people, moral choice is more difficult and ambiguous.
  • 15) Chapter, and is when we speake or write doubtfully and that the sence may be taken two wayes, such ambiguous termes they call _Amphibologia_, we call it the _ambiguous_, or figure of sence incertaine, as if one should say _Thomas Tayler_ saw _William Tyler_ dronke, it is indifferent to thinke either th'one or th'other dronke.
  • 16) ˜ambiguous™ and that the Arabic philosophers, starting with Alfarabi, made being said in a prior and a posterior sense the main characteristic of all ambiguous terms.
  • 17) I think someone previously used the word ambiguous, that is absolutely spot on what he wanted.
  • 18) When a death requires a presumption, it's loved ones who can become adrift, says therapist Pauline Boss, author of two books on what she calls ambiguous loss.
  • 19) In a state where coal is seen as the fount of prosperity, Mr. Raese has seized on what he calls ambiguous statements by Mr. Manchin on proposals for a cap-and-trade system to reduce greenhouse gases.
  • 20) Leaving the boundary between human life and nature ambiguous is a Japanese virtue.
  • 21) The person who needs to stop being ambiguous is you.
  • 22) ‘The Constitution is an ambiguous document open to interpretation by all.’
  • 23) ‘They considered the Act to be ambiguous and open to interpretation on this point.’
  • 24) ‘Once more, the evidence is ambiguous and interpretations have become polarized.’
  • 25) ‘Agreeing with a set of vague and ambiguous statements makes you dogmatic?’
  • 26) ‘But what elevates the novel beyond the genre is the ambiguous, enigmatic voice of Mary herself.’
  • 27) ‘Mr Sumption says, if necessary, that in the present case the phraseology is both obscure and ambiguous.’
  • 28) ‘Others are more enigmatic and ambiguous in both their origins and meanings.’
  • 29) ‘However, do not be fooled by this statement; it is ambiguous and misleading.’
  • 30) ‘But even this latter assertion is somewhat uncertain and ambiguous for several reasons.’
  • 31) ‘Much of the report is hard to read and contains many ambiguous or misleading statements.’
  • 32) ‘For the record, I say to the House this law is ambiguous in terms of its interpretation.’
  • 33) ‘This can result in obscurity or in a ruling which is ambiguous on matters of importance.’
  • 34) ‘His remarks were ambiguous, and it will be the tone that matters.’
  • 35) ‘The very nature of his removal remains for the moment ambiguous.’
  • 36) ‘I seem to remember the novel being a bit more ambiguous than that.’
  • 37) ‘Either way, you just can't be quoted saying such amazingly ambiguous statements.’
  • 38) ‘The motivating fictional element is a subversive or ambiguous move.’
  • 39) ‘Had it been seen abstracted from that context by the US public, there would have been a more ambiguous reaction.’
  • 40) ‘It is inherent in their task which involves applying rules stated in words that are often ambiguous.’
  • 41) ‘He gives an ambiguous answer to his initial question.’
  • 42) ‘Whether their other plans are ambiguous or meaningless is unclear.’
  • 43) ‘This ambiguous attitude makes his art cryptic: viewers are left grasping at answers.’
  • 44) ‘Is it any wonder that his ambiguous hybrid art dissolves boundaries in such an equivocal manner?’
  • 45) ‘The uncertainty of the public mood was mirrored by the ambiguous nature of the government.’
  • 46) ‘His play has been described as an ambiguous presentation of two equally flawed characters.’
  • 47) ‘The workers' status as private sector employees, though, is at best ambiguous.’
  • 48) ‘Or does moralizing have to take a more ambiguous tone to be acceptable?’
  • 49) ‘Judging by the reactions of some in the audience, the content of the film wasn't ambiguous to everyone.’
  • 50) ‘It's an ambiguous performance that will leave the viewer with questions long after the lights go down.’
  • 51) ‘But if the political climate is ambiguous, there's still reason to celebrate.’
  • 52) ‘Instead of tidy, maudlin conclusions, the film is handed an ambiguous closure.’
  • 53) ‘People have ambiguous, often funny notions about this ancient system of Indian medicine.’
  • 54) ‘Two viewings suggest that deciphering the complex, ambiguous plot may not be worth the effort.’
  • 55) ‘Watching the disintegration of a man's dreams is uncomfortable, however morally ambiguous he might be.’
  • 56) ‘I wanted a book that showed us how ambiguous we are, or how ambivalent we are.’
  • 57) ‘Not only is it complex, ambiguous and inter-generational, but it is largely self-inflicted.’
  • 58) ‘Then it strikes me that perhaps, like an ambiguous picture, both can exist simultaneously and have their own truth.’
  • 59) ‘The painting may also be read as a glorification of the moral virtue of rural America or even as an ambiguous mixture of praise and satire.’
  • 60) ‘However this is marred by the ambiguous lyrical content that attempts to pass itself off as meaningful.’
  • 61) ‘As I have argued before on these pages, that rage is morally ambiguous.’


  • 1) His mind, always ambivalent about the whole business, had been entirely made up by what he had experienced on the Eastern front.
  • 2) He himself had an ambivalent relationship with the Almighty, invoking Him in moments of crisis and forgetting Him the rest of the time.
  • 3) Now, she was more ambivalent, not sure she wanted to expose herself to that dangerous, charismatic man.
  • 4) Bleuler has used the term ambivalent, thus comparing these individuals to a chemical element having two bonds and impelled to unite with two substances.
  • 5) I have long been of two minds about the word ambivalent.
  • 6) As a whole, they have no official candidate slates, have not rallied behind any particular national leader, have little money on hand, and remain ambivalent about their goals and the political process in general.
  • 7) That the public might be ambivalent is not surprising, given how confusing the actual events have proven to be.
  • 8) OK so David Davies avoided humiliation but I remain ambivalent/mystified by the whole by-election.
  • 9) Still, some guidebook contributors remain ambivalent about the role they play.
  • 10) The Dalai Lama’s comments underscore his determination to pursue a conciliatory approach towards Beijing, despite what he described as the ambivalent and contradictory messages by China.
  • 11) ‘To say that councillors are ambivalent about the idea is an understatement.’
  • 12) ‘Those sentiments are a far cry from her early years when she had an altogether more ambivalent attitude towards her singing.’
  • 13) ‘In practice, we have managed to do better than our ambivalent attitudes suggest.’
  • 14) ‘Their attitude to Hale is ambivalent at best and I suspect that it is actively hostile.’
  • 15) ‘To me, this is an example of our somewhat ambivalent attitudes towards medical care in general.’
  • 16) ‘Not surprisingly, therefore, our attitude to mobile phones is ambivalent.’
  • 17) ‘I reject totally any statement by the opposition that we have in some way been ambivalent.’
  • 18) ‘In some ways they have coveted each other, and yet the economic relationship between the two remains ambivalent.’
  • 19) ‘His assessment of the future of composition in America is ambivalent.’
  • 20) ‘I wanted a book that showed us how ambiguous we are, or how ambivalent we are.’
  • 21) ‘He said that he knew of many parents who supported his stance although there were others who disagreed or were ambivalent.’
  • 22) ‘I don't think there's another band in existence capable of producing such an ambivalent reaction in me.’
  • 23) ‘He also said Mr O'Brien was ambivalent on the role of the banks connected with the consortium.’
  • 24) ‘Newspapers previously ambivalent to him are now grudgingly behind him.’
  • 25) ‘I'm actually starting to feel positive about the upcoming test, as opposed to mildly ambivalent.’
  • 26) ‘We have been, as devoted readers can attest, mostly ambivalent on the marriage issue.’
  • 27) ‘Being ambivalent herself, Vowell agrees this might be what attracts her to Canada.’
  • 28) ‘I know it pains him that he hasn't seen me grow up and that, now, I seem ambivalent about our relationship.’
  • 29) ‘They are sometimes ambivalent, but that is a different matter altogether.’
  • 30) ‘Yet, as with all such situations, we feel ambivalent when we consider this factor.’

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