Definitions for ambiguousæmˈbɪg yu əs

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word ambiguous

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

am•big•u•ous*æmˈbɪg yu əs(adj.)

  1. open to or having several possible meanings or interpretations:

    an ambiguous answer.

    Category: Common Vocabulary

  2. difficult to comprehend, distinguish, or classify:

    a rock of ambiguous character.

  3. lacking clearness or definiteness; obscure; indistinct:

    an ambiguous shape.

* Syn: ambiguous , equivocal both refer to words or expressions that are not clear in meaning. ambiguous describes that which is capable of two or more contradictory interpretations, usu. unintentionally so: an ambiguous line in a poem; an ambiguous smile.equivocal also means susceptible of contradictory interpretations, but usu. by a deliberate intent to mislead or mystify: an equivocal response to an embarrassing question.

Origin of ambiguous:

1520–30; < L ambiguus=ambig(ere) be uncertain (amb-ambi - +-igere, comb. form of agere to drive, lead, act ) +-uus deverbative adj. suffix; see -ous


Princeton's WordNet

  1. equivocal, ambiguous(adj)

    open to two or more interpretations; or of uncertain nature or significance; or (often) intended to mislead

    "an equivocal statement"; "the polling had a complex and equivocal (or ambiguous) message for potential female candidates"; "the officer's equivocal behavior increased the victim's uneasiness"; "popularity is an equivocal crown"; "an equivocal response to an embarrassing question"

  2. ambiguous(adj)

    having more than one possible meaning

    "ambiguous words"; "frustrated by ambiguous instructions, the parents were unable to assemble the toy"

  3. ambiguous(adj)

    having no intrinsic or objective meaning; not organized in conventional patterns

    "an ambiguous situation with no frame of reference"; "ambiguous inkblots"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. ambiguous(adjective)æmˈbɪg yu əs

    confusing as a result of having more than one meaning

    deliberately using ambiguous language; the ambiguity of her words; an ambiguously used term


  1. ambiguous(Adjective)

    Open to multiple interpretations.

    The politician was criticized for his ambiguous statements and lack of precision.

  2. ambiguous(Adjective)

    Vague and unclear.

    He gave an ambiguous answer.

  3. ambiguous(Adjective)

    Of persons: hesitant; uncertain; not taking sides.

    Thomas Salusbury (1662): And forasmuch as in this same question I am ambiguous, and Simplicius is resolute....

Webster Dictionary

  1. Ambiguous(adj)

    doubtful or uncertain, particularly in respect to signification; capable of being understood in either of two or more possible senses; equivocal; as, an ambiguous course; an ambiguous expression

Translations for ambiguous

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


having more than one possible meaning

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