Select Page

December 26, 2021

Ambiguous /am-ˈbi-gyə-wəs/ adj.

Definition: Ambiguous is an adjective that has two possible meanings. Firstly, if something is ambiguous, it has more than one possible meaning. Some examples of this are lexical ambiguity, where the ambiguity is caused by a word having two meanings, such as ‘bank.’ If you say ‘I’m going to the bank,’ do you mean the side of a river, or do you mean a financial institution?

You can also use it to describe something not understood or clearly expressed that is uncertain or doubtful, especially from indistinctness or obscurity.

You could say that the word ambiguous is itself ambiguous!

Etymology: The word is derived from the Latin ambiguus, meaning untrustworthy, unreliable, not to be relied on, or treacherous, which has its origins in the Latin verb ambigere ‘to waver or go around,’ from the prefix ambi- ‘both ways’ and the verb agree ‘to drive.’

The first recorded usage of the word in English dates to the 1520s, and the related word ambiguity dates to the 1400s.

In a Sentence

The instructions for the assembly of the wardrobe were ambiguous.

The ambiguous nature of the question made it difficult to determine the correct answer.

My role within the department had changed, becoming more ambiguous.


Vague, Obscure


Plain, Unequivocal


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.