Definitions

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

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

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

  • noun mixed feelings or emotions; uncertainty or vacillation in making a choice.
  • noun (Psychol.) 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 Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

  • noun mixed feelings or emotions

Etymologies

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

[German Ambivalenz : Latin ambi-, ambi- + Latin valentia, vigor (from valēns, valent-, present participle of valēre, to be strong; see wal- in Indo-European roots).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.

Examples

Comments

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  • 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

  • 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