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.
- am·big·u·ous·ly, adverb
- am·big·u·ous·ness, noun
- un·am·big·u·ous, adjective
- ambiguous , ambivalent
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use ambiguous in a sentence
I feel this ambiguous connection to strangers I have had to avoid, and my soul demands exploration.Tallying up a year of loss: A lot of pounds, too many loved ones, countless connections | Jerry Brewer | December 27, 2020 | Washington Post
In the mountains, on the other hand, there’s a pretty broad range of conditions where the decision is ambiguous.Yes, Walking Is Sometimes Faster than Running Uphill | Alex Hutchinson | December 27, 2020 | Outside Online
Rituals like writing letters to Santa, or leaving out milk and cookies on Christmas eve, reinforce their belief in these ambiguous figures.Study: children’s belief in Santa Claus is more nuanced than you think | Jennifer Ouellette | December 25, 2020 | Ars Technica
They began their study by noting that “the expected effect of smoking bans on drunk driving is ambiguous” since smokers might choose to go out less, lowering the number of people drinking in total.Study: Smoking bans saved countless lives — could they have increased drunk driving? | Jerusalem Demsas | December 24, 2020 | Vox
This question was ambiguous as to whether you simply wanted the smallest value of N or the smallest value of N that also resulted in the eliminations listed in the original problem.
By the 1950s the rapid assignment of gender to an ambiguously gendered infant had become standard.
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 | Kevin Fallon | September 16, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The Daily Beast reached out to Feliciano for clarification about his "ambiguously gay" statement.
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? | Jay Michaelson | March 11, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
After all, Shocked once—though ambiguously, and perhaps with the intent of provocation—insinuated that she was a lesbian.Michelle Shocked’s Crazy Switch From Lesbian to Homophobe | Kevin Fallon | March 19, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
This prediction being delivered somewhat ambiguously, Hamilton misunderstood its meaning.The Mysteries of All Nations | James Grant
All that enlightened men could do, was to speak ambiguously, hence they often confounded falsehood with truth.Good Sense | Paul Henri Thiry, Baron D'Holbach
Here again the word Eotena is used ambiguously, but, I think, this time not without some indication of its meaning.Beowulf | R. W. Chambers
“You could not do it,” she declared ambiguously, planting the last spray.The Locusts' Years | Mary Helen Fee
Then, as things got worse and worse for her, he spoke again--ambiguously--a word or two, thrown out to sound the waters.Lady Rose's Daughter | Mrs. Humphry Ward
British Dictionary definitions for ambiguous
having more than one possible interpretation or meaning
difficult to understand or classify; obscure
- ambiguously, adverb
- ambiguousness, noun
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