ambivalence

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From German Ambivalenz (simultaneous conflicting feelings), from Latin ambo (both) and valentia (strength), from the verb valere (to be strong) (see valiant). Coined in 1910 by Swiss psychologist Eugen Bleuler; by 1929, it had taken on a broader literary and general sense.

Noun[edit]

ambivalence (countable and uncountable, plural ambivalences)

  1. The coexistence of opposing attitudes or feelings (such as love and hate) towards a person, object or idea.
    • 1952, Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man, Prologue:
      "I dearly loved my master, son," she said.
      "You should have hated him," I said.
      "He gave me several sons," she said, "and because I loved my sons I learned to love their father though I hated him too."
      "I too have become acquainted with ambivalence, I said.
  2. A state of uncertainty or indecisiveness.

Usage notes[edit]

This word is often used to express a lack of concern about the outcome of a choice to be made. In this case, a more appropriate word to use is indifference.

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

French[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ɑ̃.bi.va.lɑ̃s/
  • (file)

Noun[edit]

ambivalence f (plural ambivalences)

  1. ambivalence
  2. ambiguity