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Ambivalent


Ambivalent people, and ambivalent feelings and attitudes, are uncertain, as if they're pulled in two different directions. In other words, they're having a hard time deciding because they feel torn, often between two opposite choices or feelings.

(And ambivalent things have or show that same kind of uncertainty.)

Pronunciation:
am BIV uh lunt

Part of speech:
Adjective.
(Adjectives are describing words, like "large" or "late."
They can be used in two ways:
1. Right before a noun, as in "an ambivalent expression" or "an ambivalent person."
2. After a linking verb, as in "It was ambivalent" or "He was ambivalent.")

Other forms:
We have two nouns, "ambivalence" and "ambivalency;" I recommend sticking with "ambivalence."
There's also "ambivalently," but it's ugly and not all dictionaries recognize it.
And there's "unambivalent," but instead, why not say "firm," "staunch," or "settled"?

How to use it:
When you're talking about a specific choice, subject, or issue, say that people are ambivalent, or that they seem ambivalent, or that they act ambivalent, etc.

You can also say they're ambivalent about something, ambivalent toward something, or ambivalent on something.

If you refer to a group of people as ambivalent, you might mean they all feel conflicted, or that some of them feel strongly one way while others feel strongly in the opposite way.

And you can talk about people's ambivalent expressions, postures, comments, attitudes, feelings, and positions.

examples:
Would Katniss rise up against the Capitol or not? The book stuck to my fingers until she resolved her ambivalence.


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