Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[am-bi-dek-struh s] /ˌæm bɪˈdɛk strəs/
able to use both hands equally well:
an ambidextrous surgeon.
unusually skillful; facile:
an ambidextrous painter, familiar with all media.
double-dealing; deceitful.
Slang. bisexual.
Origin of ambidextrous
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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
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


equally expert with each hand
(informal) highly skilled or adept
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for ambidextrous

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
Cite This Source
ambidextrous in Medicine

ambidextrous am·bi·dex·trous (ām'bĭ-děk'strəs)
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.
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for ambidextrous



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.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for ambidextrous

Difficulty index for ambidextrous

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for ambidextrous

Scrabble Words With Friends