Definition of ambiguity noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˌæmbɪˈɡjuːəti//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˌæmbɪˈɡjuːəti//
    (pl. ambiguities)
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  1. 1[uncountable] the state of having more than one possible meaning Write clear definitions in order to avoid ambiguity. A lot of humour depends on ambiguity.
  2. 2[countable] a word or statement that can be understood in more than one way There were several inconsistencies and ambiguities in her speech.
  3. 3[uncountable, countable] the state of being difficult to understand or explain because of involving many different aspects You must understand the ambiguity of my position.
  4. Word Originlate Middle English: from Old French ambiguite or Latin ambiguitas, from ambiguus ‘doubtful’ (from ambigere ‘waver, go around’, from ambi- ‘both ways’ + agere ‘to drive’).Extra examples Incorrect choice of words leads to ambiguity for the reader. The document has been carefully written to avoid ambiguity. The poem contains a certain ambiguity. There is a degree of ambiguity in this statement. There was some ambiguity in what he said. There will always be some ambiguity about what actually happened. They had to change some of the wording in the document to resolve the ambiguity. the ambiguity surrounding the concept of ‘reality’ the inherent ambiguity of language
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: ambiguity