ambivalence

noun
am·​biv·​a·​lence | \ am-ˈbi-və-lən(t)s How to pronounce ambivalence (audio) \

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

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Examples of ambivalence in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Or did Kim Jong-un sense in Trump’s relative ambivalence toward the U.S. alliance with South Korea an opportunity to split the alliance apart and get the Americans to leave Korea at long last? Mario Loyola, National Review, "Foreign Policy in the Age of Trump," 5 Dec. 2019 That reflected the deep ambivalence of a wounded party towards renewing an arrangement that since 2013 has squashed its identity (and its vote share). The Economist, "CharlemagneWhy Germany’s new government is not about to go soft on the euro," 8 Mar. 2018 Richard Wood, the then-interim provost at the University of New Mexico, conveyed ambivalence in an email to colleagues last year. oregonlive, "US academics on front line of battle against Chinese technology theft," 6 Oct. 2019 Richard Wood, the then-interim provost at the University of New Mexico, conveyed ambivalence in an email to colleagues last year. Eric Tucker, San Diego Union-Tribune, "US researchers on front line of battle against Chinese theft," 6 Oct. 2019 Richard Wood, the then-interim provost at the University of New Mexico, conveyed ambivalence in an email to colleagues last year. Eric Tucker, The Denver Post, "U.S. researchers on front line of battle against Chinese theft," 6 Oct. 2019 Throughout his three years, Nkemdiche has displayed ambivalence about becoming a good football player. Kent Somers, azcentral, "Arizona Cardinals should part ways with Robert Nkemdiche as soon as possible," 20 June 2019 Ford, after years of ambivalence, invested $500 million into electric truck startup Rivian on top of least $11 billion in new EV investments and launched the all-electric Mustang Mach-E SUV. Michael J. Coren, Quartz, "2019 was the year electric cars grew up," 6 Dec. 2019 Good actors Damon and Bale let their own modern ambivalence get in the way. Armond White, National Review, "Ford v Ferrari Makes Race-Car Movies Great Again," 22 Nov. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of ambivalence

1909, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ambivalence

International Scientific Vocabulary

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Time Traveler for ambivalence

Time Traveler

The first known use of ambivalence was in 1909

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Statistics for ambivalence

Last Updated

14 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ambivalence.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ambivalence?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=a&file=ambiva01. Accessed 20 January 2020.

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More Definitions for ambivalence

ambivalence

noun
am·​biv·​a·​lence | \ am-ˈbiv-ə-lən(t)s How to pronounce ambivalence (audio) \

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

Other Words from ambivalence

ambivalent \ -​lənt How to pronounce ambivalent (audio) \ adjective
ambivalently adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on ambivalence

Spanish Central: Translation of ambivalence

Nglish: Translation of ambivalence for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ambivalence for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ambivalence

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