If you can't decide how you feel about something, declare yourself ambivalent about it.

Ambivalent means "having mixed feelings about something." A Swiss psychologist named Eugen Bleuler coined the German word Ambivalenz in the early twentieth century, and it was soon imported into English. Bleuler combined the Latin prefix ambi-, meaning "both," with valentia, "strength." So etymologically speaking, if you're ambivalent you're being pulled by two equally strong things — but in practice, ambivalence often arises from caring very little either way. You might feel ambivalent about your lunch options if you have to choose between a murky stew and flavorless tofu.

Definitions of ambivalent
  1. adjective
    uncertain or unable to decide about what course to follow
    “was ambivalent about having children”
    incertain, uncertain, unsure
    lacking or indicating lack of confidence or assurance
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘ambivalent'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
Commonly confused words

ambiguous / ambivalent

Something ambiguous is unclear or vague, like the end of a short story that leaves you scratching your head. But if you're ambivalent about something, you can take it or leave it. Whatever.

Continue reading...

Word Family

Look up ambivalent for the last time

Close your vocabulary gaps with personalized learning that focuses on teaching the words you need to know.

VocabTrainer -'s Vocabulary Trainer