View synonyms for ambivalent


[ am-biv-uh-luhnt ]


  1. having mixed feelings about someone or something; being unable to choose between two (usually opposing) courses of action:

    The whole family was ambivalent about the move to the suburbs.

    She is regarded as a morally ambivalent character in the play.

  2. Psychology. of or relating to the coexistence within an individual of positive and negative feelings toward the same person, object, or action, simultaneously drawing that individual in opposite directions.

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Other Words From

  • am·biva·lent·ly adverb

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Word History and Origins

Origin of ambivalent1

Back formation from ambivalence

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Example Sentences

That’s when the anxious attachment style or ambivalent attachment style is created.

Some people took extreme positions but most had ambivalent feelings.

From Time

Again, the United States remained ambivalent, despite playing a role in spearheading the United Nations.

Will Douglas Heaven shows off a sample of GPT-3’s clever writing and explains why some are ambivalent about its achievements.

TikTok’s tortilla trend is basically a quesadilla — with extra fun folded inI’m ambivalent about these, but that’s because I generally dislike the concept of snack mixes and mixed-nut blends.

Sometimes she sees clients who are ambivalent about their kink identities.

What makes Noah mildly ambivalent, yet cautiously optimistic?

True to form, Palmer is ambivalent about Weaver, with whom he does commercials and TV commentary.

Today, many Californians feel ambivalent about illegal immigration.

On some level, Brecht meant for Mother Courage to be an ambivalent figure—he called her “a great living contradiction.”

Let us recall that in our earlier discussion we took note of the ambivalent character of love.

But I have to ask if the feelings and instincts are really ambivalent?

Let us suppose the subject has ambivalent feelings toward his father.

I mean that the relation is really ambivalent, that is, it is composed of conflicting feelings of tenderness and hostility.

Thus we find again that taboo has grown out of the soil of an ambivalent emotional attitude.





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