- 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.
- Psychology. of or relating to 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 ambivalent
Related Words for ambivalentuncertain, equivocal, hesitant, doubtful, contradictory, undecided, mixed, unsure, clashing, debatable, inconclusive, irresolute, opposed, unresolved, vacillating, warring, wavering, fluctuating
Examples from the Web for ambivalent
Contemporary Examples of ambivalent
Sometimes she sees clients who are ambivalent about their kink identities.Coming Out Kinky to Your Doctor, in Black and Blue
October 25, 2014
True to form, Palmer is ambivalent about Weaver, with whom he does commercials and TV commentary.Will the Real Jim Palmer Please Stand Up
September 27, 2014
On some level, Brecht meant for Mother Courage to be an ambivalent figure—he called her “a great living contradiction.”Brecht's Mercenary Mother Courage Turns 75
September 10, 2014
Many people are ambivalent about it, including many ardent pro-choice activists.Ten Reasons Women Are Losing While Gays Keep Winning
July 6, 2014
Korda argues convincingly that Lee was ambivalent about slavery.How I Learned to Hate Robert E. Lee
June 22, 2014
Historical Examples of ambivalent
Let us recall that in our earlier discussion we took note of the ambivalent character of love.Herein is Love
Reuel L. Howe
Thus we find again that taboo has grown out of the soil of an ambivalent emotional attitude.
With the decline of this ambivalence the taboo, as the compromise symptom of the ambivalent conflict, also slowly disappeared.
Let us suppose the subject has ambivalent feelings toward his father.A Practical Guide to Self-Hypnosis
Word Origin and History for ambivalent
1916, originally a term in psychology; back-formation from ambivalence. In general use by 1929.