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ambiguity

IPA

How to pronounce ambiguity (audio)

Dictionary Definition of 'ambiguity'

The quality of being open to more than one interpretation.
"The writer's use of ambiguity in the short story added depth and intrigue to the plot."

Detailed Meaning of 'ambiguity'

It is the presence of multiple possible meanings in a word, phrase, sentence, or text. Ambiguity can be caused by a number of factors, such as the use of words or phrases that have multiple meanings, or by a lack of context or information that makes it difficult to determine the intended meaning. Ambiguity can also be a literary device used by authors to create multiple layers of meaning in their work. Ambiguity can have both positive and negative effects on communication. On one hand, it can make language more expressive, nuanced and subtle, on the other hand, it can lead to confusion, misunderstanding or misinterpretation. Ambiguity can also be used in a political or strategic context to provide room for maneuvering or to avoid commitment.

History and Etymology of 'ambiguity'

The noun 'ambiguity' traces its etymological origins to the Latin word 'ambiguitas,' which is formed from 'ambiguus,' meaning 'uncertain' or 'doubtful.' 'Ambiguus' itself is a combination of 'ambi,' indicating 'both' or 'on both sides,' and 'agere,' which means 'to drive' or 'to lead.' This etymology vividly encapsulates the essence of ambiguity as the quality of being open to more than one interpretation or having a dual, uncertain nature. 'Ambiguity' suggests a situation where something can be driven or lead in multiple directions, leaving room for doubt or uncertainty about its precise meaning or intent. This linguistic evolution highlights the inherent duality and uncertainty that underlie the concept of ambiguity.

Examples of 'ambiguity' in a Sentence

1. The story's ambiguity added depth to its meaning.
2. The ambiguity of the message left room for speculation.
3. They debated the ambiguity of the novel's ending.
4. The contract was full of intentional ambiguity.
5. The politician used ambiguity to avoid taking a clear stance.
6. The ambiguity of the photo sparked curiosity.
7. The poem's ambiguity invited readers to ponder its meaning.
8. Resolving the ambiguity required further investigation.
9. Ambiguity in communication can lead to misinterpretation.
10. They discussed the ambiguity of the evidence presented.
11. The movie's ending was intentionally shrouded in ambiguity.
12. The ambiguity of the riddle challenged our intellect.
13. Ambiguity in the instructions led to confusion.
14. The ambiguity of his intentions left her uncertain.
15. The ambiguity in the law made it difficult to enforce.
16. The statement was filled with ambiguity, leaving room for multiple interpretations.
17. The poem's beauty lied in its deliberate ambiguity, allowing readers to find their own meaning.
18. The politician's speech was criticized for its ambiguity, as it failed to address specific issues.
19. The novel embraced the ambiguity of human emotions, blurring the lines between love and hate.
20. The contract was full of ambiguity, leading to disputes between the parties involved.
21. The painting's abstract composition created a sense of ambiguity, challenging viewers' perceptions.
22. The professor encouraged students to embrace ambiguity in their research, as it often leads to new discoveries.
23. The comedian's jokes were cleverly crafted with a touch of ambiguity, keeping the audience guessing.
24. The ambiguity in her response raised suspicions about her true intentions.
25. The ambiguous ending of the movie sparked debates among viewers, each interpreting it differently.
26. The advertisement cleverly played with ambiguity, leaving viewers intrigued and curious.

Synonyms

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Quiz Categories Containing 'ambiguity'

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category

Multiple Choice Game

Multiple Choice

Opposite Words Game

Opposite Words

Same or Different Game

Same / different

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Spelling Bee

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