Definition of ambiguous in English:

ambiguous

adjective

  • 1Open to more than one interpretation; not having one obvious meaning.

    ‘ambiguous phrases’
    • ‘Either way, you just can't be quoted saying such amazingly ambiguous statements.’
    • ‘I seem to remember the novel being a bit more ambiguous than that.’
    • ‘Once more, the evidence is ambiguous and interpretations have become polarized.’
    • ‘But even this latter assertion is somewhat uncertain and ambiguous for several reasons.’
    • ‘However, do not be fooled by this statement; it is ambiguous and misleading.’
    • ‘This can result in obscurity or in a ruling which is ambiguous on matters of importance.’
    • ‘Agreeing with a set of vague and ambiguous statements makes you dogmatic?’
    • ‘It is inherent in their task which involves applying rules stated in words that are often ambiguous.’
    • ‘But what elevates the novel beyond the genre is the ambiguous, enigmatic voice of Mary herself.’
    • ‘Much of the report is hard to read and contains many ambiguous or misleading statements.’
    • ‘They considered the Act to be ambiguous and open to interpretation on this point.’
    • ‘He gives an ambiguous answer to his initial question.’
    • ‘The Constitution is an ambiguous document open to interpretation by all.’
    • ‘His remarks were ambiguous, and it will be the tone that matters.’
    • ‘Others are more enigmatic and ambiguous in both their origins and meanings.’
    • ‘Mr Sumption says, if necessary, that in the present case the phraseology is both obscure and ambiguous.’
    • ‘Had it been seen abstracted from that context by the US public, there would have been a more ambiguous reaction.’
    • ‘For the record, I say to the House this law is ambiguous in terms of its interpretation.’
    • ‘The very nature of his removal remains for the moment ambiguous.’
    • ‘The motivating fictional element is a subversive or ambiguous move.’
    equivocal, ambivalent, open to debate, open to argument, arguable, debatable
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Not clear or decided.
      ‘the election result was ambiguous’
      • ‘As I have argued before on these pages, that rage is morally ambiguous.’
      • ‘Instead of tidy, maudlin conclusions, the film is handed an ambiguous closure.’
      • ‘Not only is it complex, ambiguous and inter-generational, but it is largely self-inflicted.’
      • ‘But if the political climate is ambiguous, there's still reason to celebrate.’
      • ‘Judging by the reactions of some in the audience, the content of the film wasn't ambiguous to everyone.’
      • ‘Then it strikes me that perhaps, like an ambiguous picture, both can exist simultaneously and have their own truth.’
      • ‘It's an ambiguous performance that will leave the viewer with questions long after the lights go down.’
      • ‘Is it any wonder that his ambiguous hybrid art dissolves boundaries in such an equivocal manner?’
      • ‘The painting may also be read as a glorification of the moral virtue of rural America or even as an ambiguous mixture of praise and satire.’
      • ‘The workers' status as private sector employees, though, is at best ambiguous.’
      • ‘Two viewings suggest that deciphering the complex, ambiguous plot may not be worth the effort.’
      • ‘His play has been described as an ambiguous presentation of two equally flawed characters.’
      • ‘Or does moralizing have to take a more ambiguous tone to be acceptable?’
      • ‘However this is marred by the ambiguous lyrical content that attempts to pass itself off as meaningful.’
      • ‘This ambiguous attitude makes his art cryptic: viewers are left grasping at answers.’
      • ‘The uncertainty of the public mood was mirrored by the ambiguous nature of the government.’
      • ‘I wanted a book that showed us how ambiguous we are, or how ambivalent we are.’
      • ‘Watching the disintegration of a man's dreams is uncomfortable, however morally ambiguous he might be.’
      • ‘People have ambiguous, often funny notions about this ancient system of Indian medicine.’
      • ‘Whether their other plans are ambiguous or meaningless is unclear.’
      equivocal, ambivalent, open to debate, open to argument, arguable, debatable
      View synonyms

Origin

Early 16th century (in the sense ‘indistinct, obscure’): from Latin ambiguus ‘doubtful’ (from ambigere ‘waver, go around’, from ambi- ‘both ways’ + agere ‘to drive’) + -ous.

Pronunciation

ambiguous

/amˈbɪɡjʊəs/