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ambivalent Line breaks: am¦biva|lent
Pronunciation: /amˈbɪv(ə)l(ə)nt/

Definition of ambivalent in English:


Having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas about something or someone: some loved her, some hated her, few were ambivalent about her an ambivalent attitude to Europe
More example sentences
  • To say that councillors are ambivalent about the idea is an understatement.
  • Those sentiments are a far cry from her early years when she had an altogether more ambivalent attitude towards her singing.
  • In practice, we have managed to do better than our ambivalent attitudes suggest.
equivocal, uncertain, unsure, doubtful, indecisive, inconclusive, irresolute, in two minds, undecided, unresolved, in a dilemma, on the horns of a dilemma, in a quandary, on the fence, torn, hesitating, fluctuating, wavering, vacillating, equivocating, mixed;
opposing, conflicting, contradictory, clashing;
confused, muddled, vague, hazy, unclear
informal iffy, blowing hot and cold


Example sentences
  • The first of these is aesthetic, the second political, but both inform her ambivalently negative attitudes towards still photography.
  • Both were deeply but ambivalently bonded with their male sidekicks and, to both, women were simultaneously a lure and a threat.
  • Clifford looks forward ambivalently to the day when such concerns will not be his.


Early 20th century: from ambivalence (from German Ambivalenz), on the pattern of equivalent.

Words that rhyme with ambivalent

Definition of ambivalent in:
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