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Ambiguity is a member of the word family ambiguous, included in the Academic Word List by Dr. Averil Coxhead, which contains the 570 most frequent word families used in academic texts from a variety of subject areas, of interest for students that learn the words most needed to study at tertiary institutions.

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Definition of the noun ambiguity

What does ambiguity mean as a name of something?

noun - plural: ambiguities

  1. an expression whose meaning cannot be determined from its context
    • lexical domain: Communicative Processes - nouns denoting communicative processes and contents
    • more generic words: expression / locution / saying = a word or phrase that particular people use in particular situations
    • more specific terms:
      • loophole = an ambiguity (especially one in the text of a law or contract) that makes it possible to evade a difficulty or obligation
      • amphibology / amphiboly = an ambiguous grammatical construction
      • parisology = the use of ambiguous words
      • double entendre = an ambiguity with one interpretation that is indelicate
  2. unclearness by virtue of having more than one meaning


"Ambiguity" is the third album by German metal band Brainstorm; released in 2000 this was the first with Andy B. Franck on vocals.


  1. Ambiguity is an attribute of any concept, idea, statement or claim whose meaning, intention or interpretation cannot be definitively resolved according to a rule or process consisting of a finite number of steps.
    • also known as 歧義
  2. Ambiguity, in law, is of two kinds, patent and latent.

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Ambiguity

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Google previewThe Oxford Handbook of Public Accountability (2014)

by Mark Bovens, Robert E. Goodin, Thomas Schillemans

Ambiguity” implies a state of having more than one meaning and accountability under ambiguity refers to calling for, rendering, assessing, and sanctioning...

Ambiguity is the enemy of effective accountability and should be eliminated.

Google previewInwardness and Existence (1989)

Subjectivity In/and Hegel, Heidegger, Marx, and Freud by Walter Albert Davis

Ambiguity is the capstone that keeps the two previous structures in place whenever they begin to totter. It assures that whenever...

Google previewJourneys in Complexity (2016)

Autobiographical Accounts by Leading Systems and Complexity Thinkers by Alfonso Montuori

The first ambiguity is the young and old lady: when you see the one you do not see the other. The second ambiguity is the black and white shapes and the young/old lady. When you see the black and white shapes you do not see the young or ...

Google previewAmerican Probate Law and Practice (1894)

A Complete and Practical Treatise ... Applicable to All the States by Frank Sumner Rice

In defining these respective terms, Bouvier adopts the following language: " Latent ambiguity is that which arises from some collateral circumstance or extrinsic matter in cases where the instrument itself is sufficiently certain and intelligible, ...

Google previewJudicial and Statutory Definitions of Words and Phrases (1904)

Ambiguity is the effect of words that have either no definite sense, or at most doubtful ones. Ellmaker v. Ellmaker (Pa.)...

Google previewOne Hundred Years of Russell ́s Paradox (2004)

Mathematics, Logic, Philosophy by Godehard Link

Ambiguity is a property of syntactic expressions which is ubiquitous in all informal languages—natural, scientific and mathematical; the efficient use of language depends to an exceptional extent on this feature. Disambiguation is the process of ...

Google previewUser Modeling 2007 (2007)

11th International Conference, UM 2007, Corfu, Greece, July 25-29, 2007, Proceedings by Cristina Conati, Kathleen McCoy, Georgios Paliouras

Ambiguity is a well-known problem in student modelling, and in user modelling in general. In this paper we present the results of an experiment in the domain of German adjectives. We trialled a modified student interface that gathers more ...

Google previewMetarepresentation, Self-Organization and Art (2009)

by Wolfgang Wildgen, Barend van Heusden

Figurative ambiguity Figurative ambiguity refers to the idiomatic expressions which are combined with two different...

Syntactic ambiguity Syntactic ambiguity is a property of sentences Metarepresentation in Linguistic Jokes 79.

Google previewArchispeak (2004)

An Illustrated Guide to Architectural Terms by Tom Porter

See also: Anchoring • Didactic • Narrative • Palimpsest • Semiology • Sign Ambiguity Ambiguity is a double entendre,

Ambiguity is the condition of not being able to believe your eyes in which what you get is not necessarily what you bargain ...

Google previewThe Oxford Dictionary of Pragmatics (2012)

by Yan Huang

ambiguity, ambiguous The property that a word (in the sense of word form) or a sentence has two or more different meanings assigned by the language system. E.g.]ohn was looking for ...

Google previewEncyclopaedic Dictionary of Organization Behaviour (2000)

by Rahul Arora

Role Ambiguity This denotes uncertainty about the expectations, behaviors, and consequences associated with a particular Role. Specifically, a person has a need to know others' expectations of the rights, duties and responsibilities of the ...

Google previewThe Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (2008)

by Chris Baldick

ambiguity Openness to different interpretations; or an instance in which some use of language may be understood in diverse ways. Sometimes known as 'plurisignation' or 'multiple meaning', ambiguity became a central concept in ...

Google previewGarner's Dictionary of Legal Usage (2011)

by Bryan A. Garner

Unpleasant Examples ambiguity A. Generally B. Uncertain Stress Producing Ambiguity C. Syntactic Ambiguity D. Poor Word Choice Producing ...

Google previewDictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings (2010)

A Compendium of Contemporary Biblical Scholarship by Tremper Longman III, Peter Enns

Ambiguity is not to be confused with vagueness. A statement is vague when its boundaries are not properly defined. Although undesirable in situations where a closely reasoned argument is developed, ambiguity can add to our appreciation of ...

Google previewA Dictionary of Stylistics (2014)

by Katie Wales

ambiguity; ambivalence Ambiguity is double (or multiple) meaning: an ambiguous expression has more than one interpretation. The concept has, however, special implications in different disciplines. (1) Linguists would see ambiguity as a ...

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Small photo of ENTIRE STORE ON SALE sign. The store is for sale? Concept of "ambiguity."Small photo of China Wuxi, urban pavement and architectural ambiguitySmall photo of Hand writing ambiguity on a white boardSmall photo of China Wuxi, urban pavement and architectural ambiguitySmall photo of China Wuxi, urban pavement and architectural ambiguitySmall photo of Gray Wood Background, Vague, AmbiguitySmall photo of ambiguity word on index paper More...

Video language resources about Ambiguity

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Quotes about Ambiguity

Neurosis is the inability to tolerate ambiguity. (Sigmund Freud)
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Scrabble value of A1M3B3I1G2U1I1T1Y4

The value of this 9-letter word is 17 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

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