Ambiguity



doubtfulness or uncertainty of meaning or intention:
to speak with ambiguity; an ambiguity of manner.
an unclear, indefinite, or equivocal word, expression, meaning, etc.:
a contract free of ambiguities; the ambiguities of modern poetry.
Contemporary Examples

It left at least some ambiguity regarding the siege Israel has clamped on Gaza since 2007.
Israel and Hamas Strike Peace Deal Dan Ephron November 20, 2012

This 2-0 was a clear-cut win, a sharp slice through a loaf, no ambiguity, no crumbs.
Chile Ends Spain’s World Cup Reign Tunku Varadarajan June 17, 2014

There’s some ambiguity there, which is intentional and we find satisfying.
Damages’ Bloody Finale Jace Lacob April 19, 2010

To hell with seven types of ambiguity, the objective correlative, and the anxiety of influence.
Tarantino’s Hollow Violence Lee Siegel August 23, 2009

But for every question where the authors provide a clear answer, many points of ambiguity remain.
In ‘Marijuana Legalization,’ Hard Truths For All Sides of the Debate Jesse Singal July 21, 2012

Historical Examples

If, however, we know that Garfield was born in 1831, the ambiguity would be removed.
Assimilative Memory Marcus Dwight Larrowe (AKA Prof. A. Loisette)

Obscurity in a teacher is a great defect, especially when he glories in his ambiguity.
The Mistakes of Jesus William Floyd

The long controversy raised by this criticism was really caused by the ambiguity of the terms employed.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 16, Slice 4 Various

He found an ambiguity in the wording, a choice of constructions.
The Long Roll Mary Johnston

Firstly, an ambiguity often arises in the Bible from our mistaking one letter for another similar one.
A Theological-Political Treatise [Part II] Benedict of Spinoza

noun (pl) -ties
the possibility of interpreting an expression in two or more distinct ways
an instance of this, as in the sentence they are cooking apples
vagueness or uncertainty of meaning: there are several ambiguities in the situation
n.

c.1400, “uncertainty, doubt, indecision, hesitation,” also from Medieval Latin ambiguitatem (nominative ambiguitas) “double meaning, equivocalness, double sense,” noun of state from ambiguus (see ambiguous).

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    open to or having several possible meanings or interpretations; equivocal: an ambiguous answer. Linguistics. (of an expression) exhibiting constructional homonymity; having two or more structural descriptions, as the sequence Flying planes can be dangerous. of doubtful or uncertain nature; difficult to comprehend, distinguish, or classify: a rock of ambiguous character. lacking clearness or definiteness; obscure; […]

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    ambiguous external genitalia ambiguous external genitalia am·big·u·ous external genitalia (ām-bĭg’yōō-əs) n. External genitalia that physically do not appear to be either male or female in form.

  • Ambiguously

    open to or having several possible meanings or interpretations; equivocal: an ambiguous answer. Linguistics. (of an expression) exhibiting constructional homonymity; having two or more structural descriptions, as the sequence Flying planes can be dangerous. of doubtful or uncertain nature; difficult to comprehend, distinguish, or classify: a rock of ambiguous character. lacking clearness or definiteness; obscure; […]



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