ambiguity \am`bi*gu"i*ty\ (&?;), n.; pl. ambiguities (&?;). [l. ambiguitas, fr. ambiguus: cf. f. ambiguité.] the quality or state of being ambiguous; doubtfulness or uncertainty, particularly as to the signification of language, arising from its admitting of more than one meaning; an equivocal word or expression. no shadow of ambiguity can rest upon the course to be pursued. taylor. the words are of single signification, without any ambiguity. ambiguity n 1. an expression whose meaning cannot be determined from its context 2. unclearness by virtue of having more than one meaning [syn: equivocalness] [ant: unambiguity, unambiguity]
Ambiguity is a type of uncertainty of meaning in which several interpretations are . It is thus an attribute of any idea or statement whose intended meaning cannot be definitively resolved according to a rule or process with a finite number of steps. (The - part of the name reflects an idea of "two" as in two meanings.)
Noun 1. an expression whose meaning cannot be determined from its context (hypernym) saying, expression, locution (hyponym) loophole 2. unclearness by virtue of having more than one meaning (synonym) equivocalness (antonym) unambiguity, unequivocalness (hypernym) unclearness (hyponym) equivocation, prevarication, evasiveness
The quality or state of being ambiguous; doubtfulness or uncertainty, particularly as to the signification of language, arising from its admitting of more than one meaning; an equivocal word or expression.
When an expression has been used in an instrument of writing which may be understood in more than one sense, it is said there is an ambiguity.
There are two sorts of amiguities of words, ambiguitas latens and ambiguitas patens.
The first occurs when the deed or instrument is sufficiently certain and free from ambiguity, but the ambiguity is produced by something extrinsic, or some collateral matter out of the instrument; for example, if a man devise property to his cousin A B, and he has two cousins of that name, in such case parol evidence will be received to explain the ambiguity.
The second or patent ambiguity occurs when a clause in a deed, will, or other instrument, is so defectively expressed, that a court of law, which has to put a construction on the instrument, is unable to collect the intention of the party. In such case, evidence of the declaration of the party cannot be submitted to explain his intention, and the clause will be void for its uncertainty.
The coexistence of more than one meaning or interpretation of a symbol or message. Ambiguous sentences convey less information than unambiguous ones but may be more enjoyable to the reader as are poetry and literature. In political discourse ambiguity is often intended so as to convince or attract a diversity of audience members (see double talk ). (Krippendorff )