Definitions

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

  • n. The coexistence of opposing attitudes or feelings, such as love and hate, toward a person, object, or idea.
  • n. Uncertainty or indecisiveness as to which course to follow.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The coexistence of opposing attitudes or feelings (such as love and hate) towards a person, object or idea.
  • n. A state of uncertainty or indecisiveness.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. mixed feelings or emotions; uncertainty or vacillation in making a choice.
  • n. the simultaneous existence within a person of both positive and negative feelings toward another person or action, or toward an object (as of attraction and revulsion), resulting in internal conflict.

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

  • n. mixed feelings or emotions

Etymologies

German Ambivalenz : Latin ambi-, ambi- + Latin valentia, vigor (from valēns, valent-, present participle of valēre, to be strong; see wal- in Indo-European roots).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin ambi- ("both") and valentia ("strength"), from the verb valere ("to be strong") (see valiant). Coined 1910 by Swiss psychologist Eugen Bleule for "simultaneous conflicting feelings", by 1929 had taken on a broader literary and general sense. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • There's the ghost of ambivalence like a spirit that can't cross over. It's the price of double agency. From "The Last Werewolf" by Glen Duncan.

    March 21, 2012

  • The beauty of chronic ambivalence is that even tiny shifts of detail have the power to tip the scales. From "The Last Werewolf" by Glen Duncan.

    March 3, 2012