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Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Exhibiting or feeling ambivalence.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Simultaneously experiencing or expressing opposing or contradictory feelings, beliefs, or motivations.
  • adj. Alternately having one opinion or feeling, and then the opposite.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. undecided as to whether or not to take a proposed course of action; having feelings both for and against the proposed action.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. uncertain or unable to decide about what course to follow

Etymologies

From ambivalence, from German Ambivalenz, from Latin ambi- ("in two ways") + valeō ("be strong") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Bleuler has used the term ambivalent, thus comparing these individuals to a chemical element having two bonds and impelled to unite with two substances.

    The Foundations of Personality

  • I have long been of two minds about the word ambivalent.

    The Right Word in the Right Place at the Right Time

  • 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.

    Gauging the scope of the tea party movement in America

  • That the public might be ambivalent is not surprising, given how confusing the actual events have proven to be.

    What the Bailout Polls Really Tell Us

  • OK so David Davies avoided humiliation but I remain ambivalent/mystified by the whole by-election.

    The Newmania surveillance satellite

  • Still, some guidebook contributors remain ambivalent about the role they play.

    Mexico By the Book

  • 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.

    Dalai Lama Urges Patience In Dealing With China

  • It looks forward to the bargains we strike but it also looks backward at what we had to sacrifice to get there. compromise is what Freud would have called an ambivalent word.

    NPR Topics: News

  • But then "compromise" is what Freud would have called an ambivalent word.

    NPR Topics: News

  • VANCOUVER (Reuters) - For a city widely described as ambivalent before the Winter Games started, Vancouver was doing a pretty good imitation of a city which had fallen completely and utterly in love with the Olympics in the first week and planned to celebrate the fact in style.

    Latest News - Yahoo!7 News

Comments

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  • an emotional seesaw of indifferance

    October 7, 2012

  • I'm ambivalent about the whole thing. I'ts all ambivalence, now, right? Grey areas. Morality reduced to approximations. From "The Last Werewolf" by Glen Duncan

    February 26, 2012