ambiguity

Something with ambiguity is unclear. Think about the sentence, "Jill saw the man with binoculars." If you are wondering whether Jill or the man had the binoculars, you are noticing the ambiguity, or the double meaning, of this sentence.

Lawyers word contracts to avoid ambiguity, but in doing so prevent anyone who is not a lawyer from understanding what they have written! If you can't choose between two decisions because both seem somehow wrong, you are dealing with moral ambiguity. Imagine if a friend who has helped you out many times asks you to cheat. It's wrong to cheat but it also seems wrong not to help someone who has been there for you.

Definitions of ambiguity
  1. noun
    unclearness by virtue of having more than one meaning
    synonyms: equivocalness
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    Antonyms:
    unambiguity, unequivocalness
    clarity achieved by the avoidance of ambiguity
    types:
    equivocation, evasiveness, prevarication
    intentionally vague or ambiguous
    lexical ambiguity, polysemy
    the ambiguity of an individual word or phrase that can be used (in different contexts) to express two or more different meanings
    no man's land, twilight zone
    the ambiguous region between two categories or states or conditions (usually containing some features of both)
    type of:
    unclearness
    incomprehensibility as a result of not being clear
  2. noun
    an expression whose meaning cannot be determined from its context
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    types:
    show 4 types...
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    loophole
    an ambiguity (especially one in the text of a law or contract) that makes it possible to evade a difficulty or obligation
    amphibology, amphiboly
    an ambiguous grammatical construction; e.g., `they are flying planes' can mean either that someone is flying planes or that something is flying planes
    parisology
    the use of ambiguous words
    double entendre
    an ambiguity with one interpretation that is indelicate
    type of:
    expression, locution, saying
    a word or phrase that particular people use in particular situations
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