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ambiguous

IPA

How to pronounce ambiguous (audio)

Dictionary Definition of 'ambiguous'

Open to multiple interpretations, unclear, or lacking a definite or precise meaning.
"His statement was intentionally ambiguous to avoid taking a clear stance on the issue."

Detailed Meaning of 'ambiguous'

When we refer to something as ambiguous, we highlight its inherent complexity or the presence of multiple possible explanations, making it difficult to determine its exact intent or significance. Ambiguity can manifest in language, art, situations, or statements, and it often leads to confusion or uncertainty. For instance, a sentence with double meanings or a piece of abstract art that doesn't have a clear subject can be considered ambiguous. This term underscores the idea that there is room for various understandings or viewpoints, making it important to clarify context or intent when dealing with ambiguous matters to ensure effective communication and comprehension.

History and Etymology of 'ambiguous'

The adjective 'ambiguous' traces its etymology to the Latin word 'ambiguus,' which is derived from 'ambigere.' 'Ambi' in Latin means 'both' or 'on both sides,' and 'agere' means 'to drive' or 'to act.' Consequently, the term 'ambiguous' originally conveyed the notion of something having two possible meanings or interpretations. As it evolved in English, it retained this core concept of being open to multiple interpretations, unclear, or lacking a definite or precise meaning. The etymology of 'ambiguous' underscores its inherent quality of presenting a dual or uncertain nature, where the intended meaning may not be immediately evident, inviting multiple interpretations or a sense of uncertainty.

Examples of 'ambiguous' in a Sentence

1. The novel's ending was intentionally left ambiguous, sparking debates.
2. The company's financial statements were filled with ambiguous figures.
3. Their relationship status became increasingly ambiguous to outsiders.
4. The professor's lecture on quantum physics left me feeling utterly ambiguous.
5. The weather forecast for the weekend looks rather ambiguous.
6. The jury found the evidence against the suspect to be ambiguous.
7. The map's instructions were so ambiguous that we got lost.
8. The candidate's stance on the issue was purposefully ambiguous.
9. The ancient text's meaning was lost in an ambiguous translation.
10. The photographer's work was known for its ambiguous beauty.
11. The contract's terms were intentionally made ambiguous to favor one party.
12. The detective faced an ambiguous clue in the murder investigation.
13. The film's enigmatic ending left audiences with an ambiguous conclusion.
14. The artist's abstract sculpture evoked an ambiguous emotional response.
15. The instructions he gave were so ambiguous that nobody knew what to do.
16. The meaning of her words was ambiguous, leaving us all confused.
17. The message she received was ambiguous, leaving her uncertain about what to do next.
18. The painting was intentionally ambiguous, allowing viewers to interpret it in different ways.
19. The report's conclusion was ambiguous, leaving room for further investigation.
20. The results of the experiment were ambiguous and did not provide a clear answer.
21. The tone of his voice was ambiguous, making it difficult to discern his true feelings.
22. The terms of the contract were ambiguous, leading to disputes between the parties involved.
23. The boundary between the two countries is ambiguous, causing disagreements over territorial rights.
24. The question was intentionally ambiguous, challenging students to think critically about their answer.
25. The relationship between the two characters in the book was ambiguous, leaving readers to speculate about their true feelings.

Synonyms

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Quiz Categories Containing 'ambiguous'

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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

eb68db_49b5b35fb6084df4b3ec513990ac8a6d.mp3

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