Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Able to use both hands with equal facility.
  • adjective Unusually skillful; adroit.
  • adjective Deceptive or hypocritical.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Having the faculty of using both hands with equal ease and dexterity; hence, skilful; facile.
  • Practising or siding with both parties; double-dealing; deceitful.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Having the faculty of using both hands with equal ease.
  • adjective Practicing or siding with both parties.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Having equal ability in both hands; in particular, able to write equally well with both hands.
  • adjective Practising or siding with both parties.
  • adjective humorous Of a person, bisexual.

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

  • adjective equally skillful with each hand
  • adjective marked by deliberate deceptiveness especially by pretending one set of feelings and acting under the influence of another

Etymologies

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

[Alteration of archaic ambidexter, from Middle English, double dealer, from Medieval Latin : Latin ambi-, on both sides; see ambi– + Latin dexter, right-handed; see deks- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

ambi- + Latin dexter ("right") + -ous (as if both hands are like the right hand, which is the stronger hand in most people).

Examples

Comments

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  • Someone uses this to mean flexible, as in "Should we pain the walls orange or purple?"

    "I'm ambidextrous"

    It kind of grows on a person. . .

    June 14, 2007

  • So you use it to mean ambivalent?

    June 15, 2007

  • Fraid so. Well, I don't but I know someone who does.

    June 15, 2007

  • (ox) I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous.

    January 24, 2008

  • I'd give both arms to be ambidextrous.

    January 24, 2008

  • :-)

    January 24, 2008

  • Credit belongs to Yogi Berra, I believe.

    January 25, 2008

  • Doesn't it always?

    January 25, 2008

  • Quite.

    January 25, 2008

  • Ambidextrous is ambidextrous. The first half of the word is from the left half of the alphabet; the second half from the right half.

    January 1, 2010