What does ambivalence mean?

Definitions for ambivalenceæmˈbɪv ə ləns

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word ambivalence.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. ambivalence, ambivalency(noun)

    mixed feelings or emotions


  1. ambivalence(Noun)

    The coexistence of opposing attitudes or feelings (such as love and hate) towards a person, object or idea.

  2. ambivalence(Noun)

    A state of uncertainty or indecisiveness.

  3. Origin: From ambi- and valentia, from the verb valere (see valiant). Coined 1910 by Swiss psychologist Eugen Bleule for "simultaneous conflicting feelings", by 1929 had taken on a broader literary and general sense.


  1. Ambivalence

    Ambivalence is a state of having simultaneous, conflicting feelings toward a person or thing. Stated another way, ambivalence is the experience of having thoughts and/or emotions of both positive and negative valence toward someone or something. The term also refers to situations where "mixed feelings" of a more general sort are experienced, or where a person experiences uncertainty or indecisiveness concerning something. The expressions "cold feet" and "sitting on the fence" are often used to describe the feeling of ambivalence. Ambivalence is experienced as psychologically unpleasant when the positive and negative aspects of a subject are both present in a person's mind at the same time. This state can lead to avoidance or procrastination, or to deliberate attempts to resolve the ambivalence. When the situation does not require a decision to be made, people experience less discomfort even when feeling ambivalent.


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of ambivalence in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of ambivalence in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Ben Watkins:

    There was a part of me that really wanted to explore something I'm calling the 'cult of ambivalence' that I feel now permeates America.

  2. David Seabury:

    Modern science knows much about such conflicts. We call the mental state that engenders it ambivalence: a collision between thought and feeling.

  3. Charles Krauthammer:

    Clips you showed demonstrate the ambivalence of this administration about what is the nature of the war on terror and whether it’s actually still going on.

  4. Paul de Man:

    The ambivalence of writing is such that it can be considered both an act and an interpretive process that follows after an act with which it cannot coincide. As such, it both affirms and denies its own nature.

  5. Sam Kamin:

    You have this odd combination here for ambivalence on the part of prosecutors and juries and a statute that permits the imposition of death in most murders, in some cases it was lack of resources, in some cases it was the belief that a jury wouldn't impose it.

Images & Illustrations of ambivalence

  1. ambivalenceambivalenceambivalence

Translations for ambivalence

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for ambivalence »


Find a translation for the ambivalence definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these ambivalence definitions with the community:

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:     


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"ambivalence." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 24 Mar. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/ambivalence>.

Are we missing a good definition for ambivalence? Don't keep it to yourself...

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for ambivalence:

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.