Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An entertainment or feast consisting, not of regular courses, but of a medley of dishes set on the table together.

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

  • noun An entertainment at which a medley of dishes is set on at the same time.

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

  • noun dated An entertainment at which a medley of dishes is set on at the same time; a buffet.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

French

Examples

  • Le français c'est ambigu: une conférence ça peut être un blabla par une personne, ou bien une journée entière avec plusieurs intervenants.

    Why Events? — Climb to the Stars

  • Se dit de quelque chose, d'un sentiment mitigé, ambigu, moitié bien, moitié mal./to speak of mixed, ambiguous feelings, half good, half bad also: wry (smile); a half-humorous, wry remark;

    Cuisine

  • Se dit de quelque chose, d'un sentiment mitigé, ambigu, moitié bien, moitié mal./to speak of mixed, ambiguous feelings, half good, half bad also: wry (smile); a half-humorous, wry remark;

    Gastronomie

  • Se dit de quelque chose, d'un sentiment mitigé, ambigu, moitié bien, moitié mal./to speak of mixed, ambiguous feelings, half good, half bad also: wry (smile); a half-humorous, wry remark;

    Expressions

  • Se dit de quelque chose, d'un sentiment mitigé, ambigu, moitié bien, moitié mal. / to speak of mixed, ambiguous feelings, half good, half bad also: wry smile; a half-humorous, wry remark;

    Cuisine

  • Se dit de quelque chose, d'un sentiment mitigé, ambigu, moitié bien, moitié mal. / to speak of mixed, ambiguous feelings, half good, half bad also: wry smile; a half-humorous, wry remark;

    Expressions

  • Se dit de quelque chose, d'un sentiment mitigé, ambigu, moitié bien, moitié mal. / to speak of mixed, ambiguous feelings, half good, half bad also: wry smile; a half-humorous, wry remark;

    Gastronomie

  • After a ball one could serve a collation, or one might offer an ambigu, at which everything was served simultaneously—hot and cold dishes, sweet and savory.

    Savoring The Past

  • After a ball one could serve a collation, or one might offer an ambigu, at which everything was served simultaneously—hot and cold dishes, sweet and savory.

    Savoring The Past

  • The Oracle had to make a brief statement that cov - ered all prospects, and that was often necessarily ambigu - ous.

    Blue Adept

Comments

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  • A buffet for plain folk must do,
    Though some will say smorgasbord too,
    But a table of nosh
    If the setting is posh
    Turns into a true ambigu.

    September 27, 2016

  • (noun) - In the 18th century the word was used to describe a plentiful assemblage of hot and cold dishes. When George II and his Queen attended the wedding of their son Frederick there was a "Supper in Ambigu" . . . in which guests were offered forty-five hot dishes and fifteen cold. "Ambo" is the Latin for both, and both temperatures were certainly there to taste. Yet the great "spread" has a title which suggests uncertainty. There was much on the royal tables to invite overeating and nothing to cause intellectual confusion, unless the composition of some of the dishes was mysterious and misleading, and so menacing to those with queasy stomachs. But the title ambigu can hardly have been chosen as an admonition to go carefully. It sounded well; it looked imposing; it made hot and cold look distressingly plebeian. So for a while it was a vogue word and gave joy to those who had acquired it. It may return. Vogues are brief, and perhaps the restaurant which seeks modish customers by announcing its agreeable ambience may now announce the pleasures of an ambigu.

    --Ivor Brown's Ring of Words, 1967

    January 16, 2018