Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

ambidextrous

play
adjective am·bi·dex·trous \ˌam-bi-ˈdek-strəs\

Simple Definition of ambidextrous

  • : able to use both hands equally well

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of ambidextrous

  1. 1 :  using both hands with equal ease

  2. 2 :  unusually skillful :  versatile

  3. 3 :  characterized by duplicity :  double-dealing

ambidextrously

adverb

Did You Know?

Latin dexter originally meant "related to or situated on the right side," but since most people do things better with the right hand, "dexter" developed the sense of "skillful" (as demonstrated by our word dexterous). In 1646, English physician and author Sir Thomas Browne combined "dexter" with the Latin prefix ambi- (meaning "both") in the first documented use of "ambidextrous": "Some are . . . ambidextrous or right-handed on both sides." The word can now describe the kind of physical or mental agility demonstrated by one with multiple diverse talents.

Origin and Etymology of ambidextrous

Late Latin ambidexter, from Latin ambi- + dexter right-hand — more at dexter


First Known Use: 1646


AMBIDEXTROUS Defined for Kids

ambidextrous

play
adjective am·bi·dex·trous \ˌam-bi-ˈdek-strəs\

Definition of ambidextrous for Students

  1. :  using both hands with equal ease <an ambidextrous basketball player>

ambidextrously

adverb



Medical Dictionary

ambidextrous

play
adjective am·bi·dex·trous \ˌam-bi-ˈdek-strəs\

Medical Definition of ambidextrous

  1. :  capable of using both hands with equal ease

ambidextrously

adverb



Learn More about ambidextrous


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up ambidextrous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

mysterious, holy, or spiritual

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

lavender-fields-in-france

Which of these is a synonym of caesura?

rebellion interruption torrent megillah
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ