American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. An ambiguous or equivocal statement.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The use of ambiguous phrases or statements.
- n. In logic, a sentence which is ambiguous from uncertainty with regard to its construction, but not from uncertainty with regard to the meaning of the words forming it. A good example of amphibology is the answer of the oracle to Pyrrhus: “Aio te Romanos vincere posse.” Here te and Romanos may either of them be the subject or object of vincere posse, and the sense may be either, you can conquer the Romans, or, the Romans can conquer you. The English language seldom admits of amphibology. For an English example, see second extract under amphibolous.
- n. archaic Amphiboly.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A phrase, discourse, or proposition, susceptible of two interpretations; and hence, of uncertain meaning. It differs from
equivocation, which arises from the twofold sense of a single term.
- n. an ambiguous grammatical construction; e.g., `they are flying planes' can mean either that someone is flying planes or that something is flying planes
- From French amphibologie, from late Latin amphibologia, earlier amphibolia, from Ancient Greek ἀμφιβολία ("ambiguity"). (Wiktionary)
- French amphibologie, from Late Latin amphibologia : Latin amphibo(lia), ambiguity (from Greek amphiboliā, from amphibolos, doubtful; see amphibole) + Latin -logia, -logy (added on the model of such words as tautologia, tautology). (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“This artifice is called equivocation or amphibology; it consists in the use of words that have a natural double meaning; it supposes in him who resorts to it the right to conceal the truth, a right superior to that of the tormentor who questions him.”
“It had been an excellent Quære52 to have posed the Devil of Delphos, 53 and must needs have forced him to some strange amphibology.”
“He spoke of him afterwards as “that amphibolous being sitting calmly and unmoved on the throne of amphibology, while he cheats and deludes us by his double meaning, covert phraseology, and claps his hands when he sees us involved in his insidious figures of speech, as a spider rejoices over a captured fly.””
“Abbreviated by subsequent usage to _bête-'ni-pié_, the appellation has amphibology; -- for there are two words _ni_ in the patois, one signifying "to have," and the other "naked.”
“Solomon looked astonished — “Xantippe, the wife of Socrates,” said he, “is recorded a termagant and a scold, but with her acetosity his philosophy enabled him to bear; but it is apodictical to me, that whoever has the misfortune to marry you will, without amphibology, have more occasion for patience and philosophy than ever Socrates had.””
“It had been an excellent quaere to have posed the devil of Delphos, and must needs have forced him to some strange amphibology.”
“AEtolians and Romans, about the winning of a battle they had with their joined forces obtained, made it of some importance, that in the Greek songs they had put the AEtolians before the Romans: if there be no amphibology in the words of the French translation.”
“ and must needs have forced him to some strange amphibology.”
“B) you need to first teach them what an equivocation or amphibology fallacy is, before they're even equipped to understand why the study doesn't actually say what they think it says”
“The world is composed (samskrta) of the stuff of dispositions (samskâra); the two words in their amphibology capture the flimsy fabric of the dependently arisen, its emptiness (see Kapani I”
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"Luciferous Logolepsy is a collection of over 9,000 obscure English words. Though the definition of an 'English' word might seem to be straightforward, it is not. There exist so many adopted, deriv...
I know it's been done before, but I just couldn't resist having my own list--I'll be borrowing from Amberley's list of Fallacies (and others).
petitio principii, begging the question, post hoc ergo pro..., logical fallacy, ignoratio elenchi, non sequitur, amphiboly, fallacy of accent, amphibology, hypostatization, equivocation, reification and 12 more...
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