- uncertainty or fluctuation, especially when caused by inability to make a choice or by a simultaneous desire to say or do two opposite or conflicting things.
- Psychology. the coexistence within an individual of positive and negative feelings toward the same person, object, or action, simultaneously drawing him or her in opposite directions.
Origin of ambivalence
Related Words for ambivalencedoubt, hesitancy, uncertainty, hesitation, indecision, fluctuation, quandary, muddle, haze, tentativeness, unsureness
Examples from the Web for ambivalence
Contemporary Examples of ambivalence
The ambivalence is reflected in U.S. policy, which often has served to complicate aid delivery in conflict zones.Why Humanitarians Talk to ISIS
October 24, 2014
A strong note of ambivalence is also present in the conflict over love and duty between Gromov and his wife.Fake Snowden Is Russia’s Newest TV Star
October 12, 2014
The administration appears united behind Obama, but with an undercurrent of ambivalence that the president no doubt shares.How the Obama Administration Reversed Course on Syria Strikes
Eleanor Clift, Josh Rogin
August 29, 2013
In content, they deal in lost loves, lost opportunities, and the ambivalence inspired by a difficult childhood.This Week’s Hot Reads: June 17, 2013
Sarah Stodola, Jen Vafidis
June 17, 2013
Michelle Obama has never made secret her ambivalence about life in the White House.Michelle Obama Is Reveling in Her Lame-Duck Status as First Lady
June 11, 2013
Historical Examples of ambivalence
But now also the psychological fatality of ambivalence demands its rights.
With the decline of this ambivalence the taboo, as the compromise symptom of the ambivalent conflict, also slowly disappeared.
- the simultaneous existence of two opposed and conflicting attitudes, emotions, etc
Word Origin and History for ambivalence
"simultaneous conflicting feelings," 1924 (1912 as ambivalency), from German Ambivalenz, coined 1910 by Swiss psychologist Eugen Bleuler (1857-1939) on model of German Equivalenz "equivalence," etc., from Latin ambi- "both" (see ambi-) + valentia "strength," from present participle of valere "be strong" (see valiant). A psychological term that by 1929 had taken on a broader literary and general sense.
- The coexistence of opposing attitudes or feelings toward a person, an object, or an idea.