Definition of ambivalent in English:

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Pronunciation: /amˈbivələnt/


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 technology
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, of two minds, undecided, torn, in a quandary, on the fence, hesitating, wavering, vacillating, equivocating, blowing/running hot and cold
informal iffy



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


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: am·biv·a·lent

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