- 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
back formation from ambivalence
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Word Origin and History for ambivalently
1916, originally a term in psychology; back-formation from ambivalence. In general use by 1929.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper