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ambivert

[ am-bi-vurt ]
/ ˈæm bɪˌvɜrt /
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noun Psychology.

one whose personality type is intermediate between extrovert and introvert.

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Origin of ambivert

1925–30; ambi- + -vert, as in extrovert, introvert
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

VOCAB BUILDER

What does ambivert mean?

An ambivert is someone said to have a personality type that is in between that of an introvert (shy and reserved) and an extrovert (outgoing).

Ambivert, introvert, and extrovert are all words used in the study, classification, and popular discussion of personality types. Extroverts are said to focus on the outside world, being social and talkative, while introverts are the opposite—more focused on their own thoughts.

Example: As much as I love going out with friends, being an ambivert means that sometimes I’d just rather stay home and have some alone time.

Where does ambivert come from?

You’ve probably taken an online quiz to find out your personality type, but have you stopped to think about where the result came from? The root of ambivert is vert, from the Latin vertere, meaning “to turn.” So, introverts turn inward. Extroverts turn outward. And ambiverts can turn both ways: the prefix ambi- means “both.” You’ve seen it in ambidextrous (“able to use both hands”) and ambiguous (“having several possible meanings”). The first record of ambivert in the English language comes around the 1920s.

Most theories about personality types agree that a person usually has some elements of introversion and some elements of extroversion. However, many of these theories state that one of those tends to be stronger. The term ambivert, though, implies that a person can act or feel differently at different times, without being primarily outgoing or primarily reserved.

Due to the popularity of personality tests and discussion about personality types, you’ll see ambivert frequently used in popular psychology articles, though perhaps less commonly than introvert and extrovert. But that doesn’t mean ambiverts aren’t common.

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What are some other forms of ambivert?

What are some words that share a root or word element with ambivert?

 

What are some words that often get used in discussing ambivert?

 

How is ambivert used in real life?

Many people use ambivert when discussing how they sometimes like to socialize and sometimes would rather keep to themselves. Sound familiar?

 

 

Try using ambivert!

Do you think you are an ambivert? If so, explain why. If not, explain what you think it means to be one.

British Dictionary definitions for ambivert

ambivert
/ (ˈæmbɪˌvɜːt) /

noun

psychol a person who is intermediate between an extrovert and an introvert

Derived forms of ambivert

ambiversion (ˌæmbɪˈvɜːʃən), noun
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
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