adjective am-BIV-uh-lu Definition
: having or showing simultaneous and contradictory attitudes or feelings toward something : characterized by ambivalence
Did You Know?
The words ambivalent and ambivalence entered English during the early 20th century in the field of psychology. They came to us through the International Scientific Vocabulary, a set of words common to people of science who speak different languages. The prefix ambi- means “both,” and the -valent and -valence parts ultimately derive from the Latin verb valēre, meaning “to be strong.” Not surprisingly, an ambivalent person is someone who has strong feelings on more than one side of a question or issue.
Bianca was ambivalent about starting her first year away at college—excited for the new opportunities that awaited but sad to leave her friends and family back home.
“A new study from LinkedIn found that many people feel ambivalent in their careers—wondering if they should stay in the same job or take time to invest in learning new skills or even change to a new path altogether.” — Shelcy V. Joseph, Forbes, 3 Sept. 2018