ambiguity

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Middle English ambiguite, from Old French ambiguite (French ambiguïté), from Latin ambiguitas, equivalent to ambiguous +‎ -ity.

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Noun[edit]

ambiguity (countable and uncountable, plural ambiguities)

  1. (countable) words or statements that are open to more than one interpretation, explanation or meaning, especially if that meaning cannot be determined from its context.
    His speech was made with such great ambiguity that neither supporter nor opponent could be certain of his true position.
  2. (uncountable) The state of being ambiguous.
    • 1513, Henry Bradshaw, Edward Hawkins, editor, The Holy Lyfe and History of Saynt Werburge: Very Frutefull for All Christen People to Rede (Remains Historical & Literary Connected with the Palatine Counties of Lancaster and Chester Published by The Chetham Society; volume XV), [] The Chetham Society, published 1848:
      Whan this ſayd monument diſcouered was / Suche a ſuauite and fragrant odoure / Aſcended from the corps by ſingular grace / Paſſyng all worldly ſwetnes and ſauour / That all there present that day and hour / Suppoſed they had ben / in the felicite / Of erthely paradiſe / without ambiguite.

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