amphiboly

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Old French amphibolie, from Latin amphibolia, from Ancient Greek ἀμφιβολία (amphibolia, ambiguity).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

amphiboly (plural amphibolies)

  1. (grammar) An ambiguous grammatical construction.
    • 1931, Adrian Coates, "Philosophy as Criticism and Point of View," Philosophy, vol. 6, no. 23, p. 339,
      By logical errors I mean such simple things as Equivocation, Amphiboly, and Begging the Question.
    • 1987, Jeffrey Buechner, "Radically Misinterpreting Radical Interpretation," The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, vol. 45, no. 4, p. 410,
      The language might be fraught with word ambiguity or sentence amphiboly.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Strictly speaking, in an amphiboly the individual words are unambiguous; the ambiguity results entirely from the linguistic manner in which they have been combined. [1]

Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed., 1989.