From Middle English ambiguite, from Old French ambiguite (French ambiguïté), from Latin ambiguitas, equivalent to ambiguous + -ity.
ambiguity (countable and uncountable, plural ambiguities)
- (countable) words or statements that are open to more than one interpretation, explanation or meaning, especially if that meaning cannot be determined from its context.
- His speech was made with such great ambiguity that neither supporter nor opponent could be certain of his true position.
- (uncountable) The state of being ambiguous.
- 1513, Henry Bradshaw, Edward Hawkins, editor, The Holy Lyfe and History of Saynt Werburge: Very Frutefull for All Christen People to Rede (Remains Historical & Literary Connected with the Palatine Counties of Lancaster and Chester Published by The Chetham Society; volume XV), […] The Chetham Society, published 1848:
- Whan this ſayd monument diſcouered was / Suche a ſuauite and fragrant odoure / Aſcended from the corps by ſingular grace / Paſſyng all worldly ſwetnes and ſauour / That all there present that day and hour / Suppoſed they had ben / in the felicite / Of erthely paradiſe / without ambiguite.
- (state of being ambiguous): ambiguousness, imprecision, polysemy
- weasel word
something liable to more than one interpretation