[ am-biv-uh-luh ns ]
/ æmˈbɪv ə ləns /


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.
Also am·biv·a·len·cy.

Origin of ambivalence

First recorded in 1910–15; ambi- + valence

OTHER WORDS FROM ambivalence

am·biv·a·lent, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for ambivalence

British Dictionary definitions for ambivalence



/ (æmˈbɪvələns) /


the simultaneous existence of two opposed and conflicting attitudes, emotions, etc

Derived forms of ambivalence

ambivalent, adjective
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

Medical definitions for ambivalence

[ ăm-bĭvə-ləns ]


The coexistence of opposing attitudes or feelings toward a person, an object, or an idea.

Other words from ambivalence

am•biva•lent adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.