uncertainty or fluctuation, especially when caused by inability to make a choice or by a simultaneous desire to say or do two opposite or conflicting things.
Psychology. the coexistence within an individual of positive and negative feelings toward the same person, object, or action, simultaneously drawing him or her in opposite directions.
Historical Examples

What is characteristic of the diseased mind is not ambivalency but resistance.
Collected Papers on Analytical Psychology C. G. Jung

Once admit this, and the primary importance of ambivalency disappears so far as negativism is concerned.
Collected Papers on Analytical Psychology C. G. Jung

(g) Sexuality with its ambivalency on the emotional plane is often one of the roots of negative reaction.
Collected Papers on Analytical Psychology C. G. Jung

the simultaneous existence of two opposed and conflicting attitudes, emotions, etc

“simultaneous conflicting feelings,” 1924 (1912 as ambivalency), from German Ambivalenz, coined 1910 by Swiss psychologist Eugen Bleuler (1857-1939) on model of German Equivalenz “equivalence,” etc., from Latin ambi- “both” (see ambi-) + valentia “strength,” from present participle of valere “be strong” (see valiant). A psychological term that by 1929 had taken on a broader literary and general sense.

ambivalence am·biv·a·lence (ām-bĭv’ə-ləns)
The coexistence of opposing attitudes or feelings toward a person, an object, or an idea.
am·biv’a·lent adj.


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  • Ambivalently

    having mixed feelings about someone or something; being unable to choose between two (usually opposing) courses of action: The whole family was ambivalent about the move to the suburbs. She is regarded as a morally ambivalent character in the play. Psychology. of or relating to the coexistence within an individual of positive and negative feelings […]

  • Ambiversion

    a state intermediate between extroversion and introversion. ambiversion am·bi·ver·sion (ām’bĭ-vûr’zhən, -shən) n. A personality trait including the qualities of both introversion and extroversion.

  • Ambivert

    one whose personality type is intermediate between extrovert and introvert. noun (psychol) a person who is intermediate between an extrovert and an introvert n. “person exhibiting features of an extrovert and an introvert,” coined by Kimball Young in “Source Book for Social Psychology” (1927), from ambi- “about, around” + Latin vertere, as in introvert. Related: […]

  • Amble

    to go at a slow, easy pace; stroll; saunter: He ambled around the town. (of a horse) to go at a slow pace with the legs moving in lateral pairs and usually having a four-beat rhythm. an ambling gait. a slow, easy walk or gentle pace. a stroll. Historical Examples “With my present outfit I […]

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