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ambidextrous

[am-bi-dek-struh s] /ˌæm bɪˈdɛk strəs/
adjective
1.
able to use both hands equally well:
an ambidextrous surgeon.
2.
unusually skillful; facile:
an ambidextrous painter, familiar with all media.
3.
double-dealing; deceitful.
4.
Slang. bisexual.
Origin of ambidextrous
1640-1650
First recorded in 1640-50; ambidext(e)r + -ous
Related forms
ambidextrously, adverb
ambidextrousness, noun
pseudoambidextrous, adjective
pseudoambidextrously, adverb
Can be confused
ambidextrous, ambisextrous.
ambidextrous, ambisinistrous.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for ambidextrous
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It is thus by attempting to be ambidextrous, I try to ward off attacks.

  • I should say he was ambidextrous, but he uses his left hand by preference.

    The Red Thumb Mark R. Austin Freeman
  • A genius, and ambidextrous, he could write sonnets with one hand and compose operas with the other.

    Edgar Saltus: The Man

    Marie Saltus
  • Inquiry should be made as to whether the patient is right or left handed, or ambidextrous.

    Aids to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology W. G. Aitchison Robertson
  • For by nature the right hand is the stronger: but nevertheless it may happen that there are ambidextrous men.

    Aristotle George Grote
  • A man who is ambidextrous will sign his name differently with his right or left hand, but it is the same signature.

    Real Ghost Stories William T. Stead
  • I am sorry to see that Erasmus imitated his enemies and at times was ambidextrous in the use of the literary stinkpot.

  • He is painting at a small easel and working in quite a wonderful manner, for he is ambidextrous.

    Literary New York

    Charles Hemstreet
  • Fortunately he was ambidextrous, could use his left hand almost as readily as his right, and this helped him immensely.

British Dictionary definitions for ambidextrous

ambidextrous

/ˌæmbɪˈdɛkstrəs/
adjective
1.
equally expert with each hand
2.
(informal) highly skilled or adept
3.
underhanded; deceitful
Derived Forms
ambidexterity (ˌæmbɪdɛkˈstɛrɪtɪ), ambidextrousness, noun
ambidextrously, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ambidextrous
adj.

1640s, with -ous, from ambidexter (adj.) "double-dealing" (1610s), from French ambidextre or directly from Latin ambidexter, literally "right-handed on both sides," from ambi- "both" (see ambi-) + dexter "right-handed" (see dexterity). Its opposite, ambilevous "left-handed on both sides, clumsy" (1640s) is rare. Ambidexter as a noun, "one who takes bribes from both sides," is attested from 1530s and is the earliest form of the word in English; its sense of "one who uses both hands equally well" appears by 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ambidextrous in Medicine

ambidextrous am·bi·dex·trous (ām'bĭ-děk'strəs)
adj.
Able to use both hands with equal facility.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for ambidextrous

ambidextrous

adjective

Bisexual; ac-dc

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Difficulty index for ambidextrous

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for ambidextrous

24
27
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