- open to or having several possible meanings or interpretations; equivocal: an ambiguous answer.
- Linguistics. (of an expression) exhibiting constructional homonymity; having two or more structural descriptions, as the sequence Flying planes can be dangerous.
- of doubtful or uncertain nature; difficult to comprehend, distinguish, or classify: a rock of ambiguous character.
- lacking clearness or definiteness; obscure; indistinct: an ambiguous shape; an ambiguous future.
Origin of ambiguous
SynonymsSee more synonyms for ambiguous on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for ambiguously
By the 1950s the rapid assignment of gender to an ambiguously gendered infant had become standard.Intersexuality and God Through the Ages
November 9, 2014
But when he goes over a line that it is ambiguously drawn, then we erupt with outrage.Phil Robertson’s Despicable AIDS Argument Should Be the Last Straw
September 16, 2014
The Daily Beast reached out to Feliciano for clarification about his "ambiguously gay" statement."Why I Called Lindsey Graham 'Ambiguously Gay'"
March 14, 2014
The new version of the bill is so ambiguously written, it might be almost as discriminatory as the old version.How Anti-Gay Will Mississippi’s ‘New’ Religious Freedom Bill Be?
March 11, 2014
Julius nurses an intense and ambiguously unrequited crush on Titus.‘Telegraph Avenue’: Michael Chabon on His Obsessive Novel of Fandom
September 11, 2012
"No time like the present to learn a lesson," she replied, ambiguously.The Dude Wrangler
You write so ambiguously about it that I cannot make out the exact thing.Wagner as I Knew Him
Ferdinand Christian Wilhelm Praeger
Ambiguously—no other word did justice to the complexity of his facial expression.The Return of the Prodigal
I did not press for an explanation of this speech, that sounded so ambiguously strange.The Bandolero
"I am glad to know that the great book is safe," answered Giovanni ambiguously.Marietta
F. Marion Crawford
- having more than one possible interpretation or meaning
- difficult to understand or classify; obscure
Word Origin and History for ambiguously
1520s, from Latin ambiguus "having double meaning, shifting, changeable, doubtful," adjective derived from ambigere "to dispute about," literally "to wander," from ambi- "about" (see ambi-) + agere "drive, lead, act" (see act). Sir Thomas More (1528) seems to have first used it in English, but ambiguity dates back to c.1400. Related: Ambiguously; ambiguousness.