Definition of ambivalence
1 : simultaneous and contradictory attitudes or feelings (such as attraction and repulsion) toward an object, person, or action felt ambivalence toward his powerful father ambivalence toward marriage
2a : continual fluctuation (as between one thing and its opposite)b : uncertainty as to which approach to follow ambivalence about their goals
Recent Examples of ambivalence from the Web
The awarding of the Nobel Prize for Literature to Bob Dylan this Fall therefore produced a moment of ambivalence for many fans committed to the principle that pop must never be treated as primarily verbal.
Milosz showed genuine ambivalence about the notion of a poet as a witness to history.
Music as a refuge, music as stress relief, music as a drug or an adjunct to drugs: Ernest Greene, the songwriter who records as Washed Out, has always embraced those functions with a hint of ambivalence.
After returning to the lounge for horse owners and trainers, Elliott expressed ambivalence about the uncertainty around Brexit after Prime Minister Theresa May lost her parliamentary majority in June 8 elections.
King, who's black, describes the gentrification with ambivalence.
Internationally, the rise of MBS to crown prince — and possibly king sooner rather than later — may be viewed with a degree of ambivalence in Western capitals, including Washington.
As a result, a sense of ambivalence seems to have taken hold around this team.
With Okja and Shamed, Ronson is evincing a studied ambivalence for technology that enables the human capacity for cruelty.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ambivalence.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of ambivalence
International Scientific Vocabulary
First Known Use: 1909See Words from the same year
Medical Definition of ambivalence
: simultaneous and contradictory attitudes or feelings (as attraction and repulsion) toward an object, person, or action ambivalence which is expressed in behavior by alternating obedience and rebellion—G. S. Blum
Seen and Heard
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