Diccionario ingles.comDiccionario ingles.com
Synonyms, antonyms, pronunciation

  Home
English Dictionary      examples: 'day', 'get rid of', 'New York Bay'




Ambiguity   Listen
noun
Ambiguity  n.  (pl. ambiguities)  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." "The words are of single signification, without any ambiguity."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








Advanced search
     Find words:
Starting with
Ending with
Containing
Matching a pattern  

Synonyms
Antonyms
Quotes
Words linked to  

only single words



Share |





"Ambiguity" Quotes from Famous Books



... Because of the ambiguity indicated above, different people with different interests, all of them good patriotic Americans, draw very different inferences from the doctrine of equal rights. The man of conservative ideas and interests means by the rights, which ...
— The Promise Of American Life • Herbert David Croly

... led by Stefano Colonna, was repulsed almost by accident; but Rienzi, who had shown more cowardice than generalship, disgusted his supporters by his indecent exultation over the bodies of the slain. And there was one fatal ambiguity in Rienzi's position. He had begun by announcing himself as the ally and champion of the papacy, and Clement VI had been willing enough to stand by and watch the destruction of the baronage. But the growing independence and the arrogant pretensions of the Tribune ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 07 • Various

... name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.'" [384] There is a little ambiguity here. What is felt is the child's stomach. But the desire is not that that may decrease, but only the whooping cough, which is felt, we take it, by proxy. A lady, writing of the southern county of Sussex, says: "A superstition lingering amongst us, worthy of the days of paganism, is ...
— Moon Lore • Timothy Harley

... passage is marked in the notes by printing each word which commences a line with an initial capital letter. In the Folios, many substantives, other than proper names or titles, are printed with initial capitals; but, in order to avoid ambiguity, we have generally made our quotations conform, in this respect, ...
— The Works of William Shakespeare [Cambridge Edition] [9 vols.] - Introduction and Publisher's Advertising • William Shakespeare

... issue then for the first time submitted to the people was isolated from all others with a completeness scarcely ever practicable—a circumstance which rendered the "mandate" to Parliament to maintain the legislative union exceptionally free from ambiguity. The party which had brought forward the defeated proposal, although led by a statesman of unrivalled popularity, authority, and power, was shattered in the attempt to carry it, and lost the support of numbers of its most conspicuous adherents, including ...
— Ulster's Stand For Union • Ronald McNeill

... back now to philosophy. An ultimate datum, even though it be logically unrationalized, will, if its quality is such as to define expectancy, be peacefully accepted by the mind; while if it leave the least opportunity for ambiguity in the future, it will to that extent cause mental uneasiness if not distress. Now, in the ultimate explanations of the universe which the craving for rationality has elicited from the human mind, the demands of expectancy ...
— The Will to Believe - and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy • William James

... cause, and obtaining forgiveness for his indiscretion. He did not judge it safe to go into any detail concerning the circumstances by which he had been misled, and upon the whole endeavoured to express himself with such ambiguity that, if the letter should fall into wrong hands, it would be difficult either to understand its real purport or to trace the writer. This letter the old man undertook faithfully to deliver to his daughter at Woodbourne; ...
— Guy Mannering, or The Astrologer, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... submission to his will, but the acceptance of his principles. The caution of the court of Rome irritated him more and more. He frightened Cardinal Caprara with a violent scene: "Write that I demand from his Holiness a declaration without ambiguity, stating that during the present war, and any other future war, all the ports of the pontifical states shall be closed to all English vessels, either of war or commerce. Without this I shall cause all the rest of the pontifical states to be occupied, I will ...
— Worlds Best Histories - France Vol 7 • M. Guizot and Madame Guizot De Witt

... thing, otherwise one could only possess what was under his hand. But it is a question whether we cannot dispense with even more. The facts which constitute possession are in their nature capable of continuing presently true for a lifetime. Hence there has arisen an ambiguity of language which has led to much confusion of thought. We use the word "possession," indifferently, to signify the presence of all the facts needful to gain it, and also the condition of him who, although some of them no longer exist, is still protected as if they did. ...
— The Common Law • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

... rather surprised to see. It says that the doom of the finally impenitent will be "eternal death," Now what does that mean? Might it not be honestly taken to mean two very different things? Might it not be taken to mean "eternal torment" or "eternal extinction?" The manifest ambiguity of such a statement would seem to me highly objectionable. I quoted the phrase to two thoughtful friends, and asked them what it meant. They made a long pause, and said they did ...
— Love's Final Victory • Horatio

... small ambiguity in the term "experience," and in the phrases, "contrary to experience," or "contradicting experience," which it may be necessary to remove in the first place. Strictly speaking, the narrative of a fact is then only contrary to experience, when the fact is related to have existed at ...
— Evidences of Christianity • William Paley

... (96) Firstly, an ambiguity often arises in the Bible from our mistaking one letter for another similar one. (97) The Hebrews divide the letters of the alphabet into five classes, according to the five organs of the month employed in pronouncing them, namely, the lips, the tongue, the ...
— A Theologico-Political Treatise [Part II] • Benedict de Spinoza

... fourth stanza that we are sure how the poem ought to be read. But Campbell was not a faultless artist. There is the same metrical ambiguity, however, ...
— The Principles of English Versification • Paull Franklin Baum

... a model of ambiguity, by which it is impossible Napoleon could have been imposed upon. However, as yet he had no suspicion of the hostility of Austria, which speedily became manifest; his grand object then was the Spanish business, and, as I have before observed, ...
— Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte, Complete • Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne

... affect not reserves which I do not feel. I will not amuse you with an appearance of deliberation when I have decided. I frankly acknowledge to you my convictions, and I will freely lay before you the reasons on which they are founded. The consciousness of good intentions disdains ambiguity. I shall not, however, multiply professions on this head. My motives must remain in the depository of my own breast. My arguments will be open to all, and may be judged of by all. They shall at least be offered in a spirit which will not disgrace the cause of truth. I propose, in a series ...
— The Federalist Papers

... certain ideas about blood, which, again, are traceable to totemism,—a theory which we need not here discuss,—Durkheim is brought face to face with the group of conceptions that now concern us. He insists on the extreme ambiguity found in primitive culture concerning the notion of the divine, and the close connection between aversion and veneration, and points out that it is not only at puberty and each recurrence of the menstrual epoch that women have aroused these emotions, but also at childbirth. "A sentiment ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 1 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... the sentence demands that the arrangement and the construction of the sentence be clear and free from ambiguity. ...
— Practical Grammar and Composition • Thomas Wood

... fatigues of business. Also, a month later, I must have a special power of attorney to transfer the income in the Funds. When that stands in my name, you and I have an equal interest in marrying each other. There it all is, my beautiful aunt, as plain as day. Between you and me there must be no ambiguity. I can marry my aunt at the end of a year's widowhood; but I could not marry a ...
— The Two Brothers • Honore de Balzac

... these, one would be surprised at the wit, no less than at the talent, exhibited in their execution. For example, here is a sailor depicted with a most lugubrious and "I-wish-I-might-get-it" expression on his rather florid face, looking into an empty grog-tub; and that there may be no ambiguity about the matter, the word empty is printed on the tub, and attached to his mouth a balloon-shaped sack containing the following visible speech—"Three years on the 'Alert' but no 'Discovery.'" A second tar is represented holding a stranded rope up to his captain, whilst he naively remarks, "It ...
— In Eastern Seas - The Commission of H.M.S. 'Iron Duke,' flag-ship in China, 1878-83 • J. J. Smith

... pretend to pattern very close on the other—not in discipline, anyhow," said Mr. Harris with ambiguity. "But you'll find Ensign Sand very willing to do anything she can for you. ...
— Hilda - A Story of Calcutta • Sara Jeannette Duncan

... gentlemen who have opposed my opinion to recommend an exertion of the regal authority, or willingly to intrust any power to the administration, that, though they have on this occasion expressed their sentiments without any ambiguity of language, or perplexity of ideas, I am in doubt whether I do not mistake their meaning, and cannot, without hesitation and uncertainty, propose the motion to which all their arguments seem necessarily to ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson, Vol. 10. - Parlimentary Debates I. • Samuel Johnson

... Georgia, he says, "was restrained" from the passing of the rescinding act "either by general principles which are common to our free institutions, or by particular provisions of the Constitution of the United States." It was not until nine years after Fletcher vs. Peck that this ambiguity was cleared up in the Dartmouth ...
— John Marshall and the Constitution - A Chronicle of the Supreme Court, Volume 16 In The - Chronicles Of America Series • Edward S. Corwin

... that leaves no room for ambiguity—which means just one thing. The habit of forming such ideas habitually may be cultivated in several ways, as ...
— How to Study • George Fillmore Swain

... human variableness or complexity; it is "Every Man in his Humor" over again, with the humor left out. Densdeth is an impossible rascal; Churm, a scarcely more possible Rhadamanthine saint. Cecil Dreeme herself never fully recovers from the ambiguity forced upon her by her masculine attire; and Emma Denman could never have been both what we are told she was, and what she is described as being. As for Robert Byng, the supposed narrator of the tale, his name seems to have been given him in order wantonly to increase the confusion caused ...
— Confessions and Criticisms • Julian Hawthorne

... diligent in collecting those most faithful of all geographical evidences, ancient inscriptions, it may be left to Mr. W. Bankes, to illustrate more fully the ancient geography of the Decapolis and adjoining districts, and to remove some of the difficulties arising from the ambiguity of the ...
— Travels in Syria and the Holy Land • John Burckhardt

... 9. AMBIGUITY.—"Nothing is more to be desired than wisdom." Not literally correct, for wisdom is certainly more to be desired than nothing; but, as a figurative expression, it is well established ...
— English Grammar in Familiar Lectures • Samuel Kirkham

... interview, on the morrow by the 'fruitless tree,' he sealed for delivery into Cornelia's hands some hours before the time appointed. He then wrote a clear business letter to his lawyer, and one of studied ambiguity to a cousin on his mother's side. His father's brother, Percival Barrett, to whom the estates had gone, had offered him an annuity of five hundred pounds: "though he had, as his nephew was aware, a large family." ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... profoundly indifferent to this issue; for Charlotte Bronte has no following in a certain school. She defies analysis. You cannot label her. What she has done is not "Realism", neither is it "Romance". She displeases both by her ambiguity and by her lack of form. She has no infallible dramatic instinct. Even in Villette she preserves some of her clumsiness, her crudity, her improbability. The progress of "the Novel" in our day is towards a perfection of form and ...
— The Three Brontes • May Sinclair

... the case—that ambiguity runs through him in everything. Burke has found an admirable word for it in the Persian tongue, for which we have no translation, but it means an intricacy involved so deep as to be nearly unfathomable—an ...
— The Diary and Letters of Madam D'Arblay Volume 2 • Madame D'Arblay

... Halevy has translated an Assyrian text, whose meaning he thus epitomizes: "What becomes of the individual deposited in a tomb? A curious passage in one of the 'books' from the library of Assurbanipal answers this question, indirectly, indeed, but without any ambiguity. After death the vital and indestructible principle, the incorporeal spirit, is disengaged from the body; it is called in Assyrian ekimmou or egimmou.... The ekimmou inhabits the tomb and reposes upon the bed (zalalu) of ...
— A History of Art in Chaldaea & Assyria, v. 1 • Georges Perrot

... reserve or fear of directness is not merely a negative quality. It also results from a consciousness of the indefiniteness of the ground of all things, from the awe of the ambiguity of all that is. If Erasmus so often hovers over the borderline between earnestness and mockery, if he hardly ever gives an incisive conclusion, it is not only due to cautiousness, and fear to commit himself. Everywhere he sees the shadings, the blending of the meaning ...
— Erasmus and the Age of Reformation • Johan Huizinga

... of different families of men,—different nationalities, and hence different languages. In the ninth verse it reads, that "from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth." There is no ambiguity about this language. He did not only "confound their language," but "scattered them from thence," from Babel, "upon the face of all the earth." Here, then, are two very important facts: their language was confused, and ...
— History of the Negro Race in America From 1619 to 1880. Vol 1 - Negroes as Slaves, as Soldiers, and as Citizens • George W. Williams

... theologian) except myself, while Mr. Darwin's view, if not the least teleological, is certainly nearly so, and his confession of inability to detect any general cause underlying variations, leaves, as will appear presently, less than common room for ambiguity. Here ...
— Evolution, Old & New - Or, the Theories of Buffon, Dr. Erasmus Darwin and Lamarck, - as compared with that of Charles Darwin • Samuel Butler

... of water. And since the volumes of all substances, water included, vary with the temperature, the temperature at which the sp. g. is determined should be recorded. Even then there is room for ambiguity to the extent that such a statement as the following, "the specific gravity of the substance at 50 C. is 0.9010," may mean when compared with water at 50 C. or 4 C., or even 15.5 C. For practical purposes ...
— A Textbook of Assaying: For the Use of Those Connected with Mines. • Cornelius Beringer and John Jacob Beringer

... occasion present itself, to certain people in Boston for her not having returned their calls. "There are half a dozen places," she said; "a formidable list. Charlotte Wentworth has written it out for me, in a terrifically distinct hand. There is no ambiguity on the subject; I know perfectly where I must go. Mr. Wentworth informs me that the carriage is always at my disposal, and Charlotte offers to go with me, in a pair of tight gloves and a very stiff petticoat. And yet for three days I have been putting it off. ...
— The Europeans • Henry James

... in packing an immense amount of knowledge and thought into the compass of a small volume. The complexity of his themes has never for a moment betrayed him into ambiguity either of thought or expression, and the pervading temptation to stray into bypaths, the failure to resist which makes the weakness of so much otherwise fine work of this class, has been most successfully ...
— Form and Function - A Contribution to the History of Animal Morphology • E. S. (Edward Stuart) Russell

... difficulties," Thompson responded with an unintentional touch of ambiguity. "But I daresay I'll manage ...
— Burned Bridges • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... treasonable were by many lawyers considered capable of being reached by statutes already existing, though not universally understood, it was "humane, not cruel, to remove doubts, and to prevent men from being ensnared by the ambiguity of old laws." ...
— The Constitutional History of England From 1760 to 1860 • Charles Duke Yonge

... of a similar character may, and probably will, be made by our naval forces, and I earnestly recommend that Congress may amend the second section of the act of March 3, 1819, so as to free its construction from the ambiguity which has so long existed and render the duty of the President plain in ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Section 4 (of 4) of Volume 5: James Buchanan • James D. Richardson

... quiet and keep his sense to himself, he was a hero without the laurel as well as a martyr without the crown. The light of which possibility is, however, too fierce; I turn it off, I tear myself from the view—noting further but the one fact in his history that, by my glimpse of it, quite escapes ambiguity. The youthful Albert, I have mentioned, was to resist successfully through those years that solicitation of "Europe" our own response to which, both as a general and a particular solution, kept breaking out in choral wails; but the other house none the less nourished projects so earnest ...
— A Small Boy and Others • Henry James

... in its terms, an order must be definite and must be the expression of a fixed decision. Ambiguity or vagueness indicates either vacillation or the ...
— Infantry Drill Regulations, United States Army, 1911 - Corrected to April 15, 1917 (Changes Nos. 1 to 19) • United States War Department

... and against whom is the taunt implied?—against the "surgeons and physicians," or against the depreciation of them. Surely the former can hardly have been intended. The sentence will bear to be cleared of some ambiguity, or else ...
— The Germ - Thoughts towards Nature in Poetry, Literature and Art • Various

... one little bit," said Mr. Searle, rather shirking, I thought, the burden of this tribute and for all response to the ambiguity of the compliment. ...
— A Passionate Pilgrim • Henry James

... three distinct assertions concerning my views, and just the same number of utter misrepresentations of them. That which I have numbered (1) turns on the ambiguity of the word "same," for a discussion of which I would refer Dr. Stirling to a great hero of "Aufklaerung" Archbishop Whately; statement number (2) is, in my judgment, absurd, and certainly I have never ...
— Discourses - Biological and Geological Essays • Thomas H. Huxley

... are present from the very beginning and bring to a mental focus the impressions of the senses. In the interpretation of Eucken's philosophy several writers [p.49] have missed the author's meaning here. They have, through the ambiguity of the term "spiritual" in English, conceived of "spiritual life" as something entirely different from the mental life. It is different, but only in the same way as the bud is different from the blossom; ...
— An Interpretation of Rudolf Eucken's Philosophy • W. Tudor Jones

... have been surmised that our sterling young candidate for district attorney had not yet become skilled in dalliance with the equivocal; that he was no adept in ambiguity; that he would confront all issues with a rugged valiance susceptible of no misconstruction; that, in short, George ...
— The Sturdy Oak - A Composite Novel of American Politics by Fourteen American Authors • Samuel Merwin, et al.

... of Lincoln—a man lacking in much of the knowledge which statesmen are supposed to possess, and capable of blundering and hesitation about details—first, that upon questions like these he was free from ambiguity of thought or faltering of will, and further, that upon his difficult path, amid bewildering and terrifying circumstances, he was able to take with him the minds of very many ...
— Abraham Lincoln • Lord Charnwood

... her remark as the natural corollary of mine, but some sub-conscious sense in me insisted that its very ambiguity was designed. ...
— The Lost Valley • J. M. Walsh

... the points in your note, I may sometimes have expressed myself with ambiguity. At the end of Chapter XXIII., where I say that marked races are not often (you omit "often") produced by changed conditions (217/1. "Hence, although it must be admitted that new conditions of life do sometimes definitely affect organic ...
— More Letters of Charles Darwin - Volume I (of II) • Charles Darwin

... whatever happened the door of his crib commanded the stairs. From this stronghold the gang invited him to come down. He returned the compliment by inviting them up, assuring them that he had a warm welcome in store for the first who should favour him with a visit. The ambiguity of the invitation appears to have been thrown away upon the gang, for "three of my people," says the officer who led them, "rushed up, and the gun missing fire, he immediately run one of them through ...
— The Press-Gang Afloat and Ashore • John R. Hutchinson

... been a follower of Wagner. What has Wagner-worship made out of spirit? Does Wagner liberate the spirit? To him belong that ambiguity and equivocation and all other qualities which can convince the uncertain without making them conscious of why they have been convinced. In this sense Wagner is a seducer on a grand scale. There is nothing exhausted, nothing effete, nothing dangerous to life, nothing ...
— The Case Of Wagner, Nietzsche Contra Wagner, and Selected Aphorisms. • Friedrich Nietzsche.

... The ambiguity of his remark was lost upon the Indian. She heard the laugh and needed no more. She rose and began to clear the table, while Nevil stood in the open doorway and gazed out into ...
— The Watchers of the Plains - A Tale of the Western Prairies • Ridgewell Cullum

... inheritance of her ancestors, the populous and fertile kingdom of Egypt. [60] [601] The emperor Claudius acknowledged her merit, and was content, that, while he pursued the Gothic war, she should assert the dignity of the empire in the East. [61] The conduct, however, of Zenobia, was attended with some ambiguity; not is it unlikely that she had conceived the design of erecting an independent and hostile monarchy. She blended with the popular manners of Roman princes the stately pomp of the courts of Asia, and exacted from her subjects the same adoration that was paid ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 1 • Edward Gibbon

... presentation of his main argument, furthermore, he not only exaggerates the cleavage between capitalists and laborers, the class consciousness of the two groups and the rationality of capitalistic purpose, but he falls into calamitous ambiguity and confusion. The central phenomenon of slavery, says he, is speculation or the overvaluation of the slave. He thereupon assumes that speculation always means overvaluation, ignoring its downward possibility, and he accounts for the asserted universal and ...
— American Negro Slavery - A Survey of the Supply, Employment and Control of Negro Labor as Determined by the Plantation Regime • Ulrich Bonnell Phillips

... to Belgrade. To this the Slavs demurred because Belgrade could then no longer remain the Serbian capital. But of these demands M. Bratiano would make no abatement, nor in the promise of the Entente to fulfil them would he admit of any ambiguity. Roumania's experience in 1877, under M. Bratiano's father, when, after having helped Russia to defeat the Turks, she was deprived of Bessarabia and obliged to content herself with the Dobrudja, was the main motive for this striving after definite conditions, while her readiness ...
— England and Germany • Emile Joseph Dillon

... class of quadrupeds or not, is a question that has a good deal embarrassed our own savans" returned the stranger. "There is an ambiguity in our physical action that renders the point a little questionable; and therefore, I think, the higher castes of our natural philosophers rather prefer classing the entire monikin species, with all its varieties, as caudae-jactans, or tail-wavers; adopting the ...
— The Monikins • J. Fenimore Cooper

... It is the ambiguity of language only which can make this proposition appear either doubtful or paradoxical. When properly explained and ...
— An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations • Adam Smith

... through the enemy's line together and engage on the opposite side. No. 33. To break through the enemy's line in succession and engage on the other side.' Had these two lucid significations been adopted by Howe there would have been no possible ambiguity as ...
— Fighting Instructions, 1530-1816 - Publications Of The Navy Records Society Vol. XXIX. • Julian S. Corbett

... regret very much that some ambiguity in my language (S.R. i. p. 483) should have misled, and given Dr. Lightfoot much trouble. I used the word "quotation" in the sense of a use of the Epistle of Peter, and not in reference to any one sentence in Polycarp. I trust that in ...
— A Reply to Dr. Lightfoot's Essays • Walter R. Cassels

... into ambiguity. "I think," he said, "it is possible to conceive such circumstances, and so, probably, will you if you ...
— The Vanishing Man • R. Austin Freeman

... essentially the intangible right to a thing, the word came to be applied also to the object of the right. This is done both in common speech and in judicial decisions, with inevitable ambiguity. This may be readily seen by trying to substitute the word ownership for property, a thing quite simple in some cases but impossible in others. One would not point to a house and say, "This is my ownership," but either, "This is my property," or "I exercise ownership ...
— Modern Economic Problems - Economics Vol. II • Frank Albert Fetter

... of defining all leading terms; and of making sure that each was always used in the same meaning. While, in order to veracious conclusions, it is necessary that every matter of fact should be truly given, it is equally necessary that the language should be free from ambiguity. If an author uses the word "law," at one time as an enactment: by some authority, and at another time, as a sequence in the order of nature, he is sure to land us in fallacy and confusion, as Butler did in explaining the Divine government. ...
— Practical Essays • Alexander Bain

... sentences, his unprincipled playing fast and loose with terms; his dreadful vocabulary, calling what completes a thing its 'negation,' for example; his systematic refusal to let you know whether he is talking logic or physics or psychology, his whole deliberately adopted policy of ambiguity and vagueness, in short: all these things make his present-day readers wish to tear their hair—or his—out in desperation. Like Byron's corsair, he has left a name 'to other times, linked with one virtue ...
— A Pluralistic Universe - Hibbert Lectures at Manchester College on the - Present Situation in Philosophy • William James

... impulse, mingled with admiration and anxiety. I am conscious at once of joy and of want; beyond what I possess I see the impossible and the unattainable; I gauge my own wealth and poverty; in a word, I am and I am not—my inner state is one of contradiction, because it is one of transition. The ambiguity of it is characteristic of human nature, which is ambiguous, because it is flesh becoming spirit, space changing into thought, the Finite looking dimly out upon the Infinite, intelligence working its way through ...
— Amiel's Journal • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... Socialism goes toward regenerating the family and sustaining the home. But let there be no ambiguity on one point. It will be manifest that while it would reinvigorate and confirm the home, it does quite decidedly tend to destroy what has hitherto been the most typical form of the family throughout the world, that ...
— New Worlds For Old - A Plain Account of Modern Socialism • Herbert George Wells

... grave shall have a living monument:] There is an ambiguity in this phrase. It either means an endurable monument such as will outlive time, or it darkly hints at ...
— Hamlet • William Shakespeare

... Condillac shows more affinity than contrast. Condillac erred, he says, in holding that thoughts are 'transformed sensations.' This was a false simplification into which he considers Condillac to have been led partly by the ambiguity of the word sentir.[495] Condillac applied to the mind the theory, true in 'the chemistry of the material chemists,' that the 'compounds are the elements themselves.'[496] He errs when he infers from the analogy ...
— The English Utilitarians, Volume II (of 3) - James Mill • Leslie Stephen

... calmly; and revolving everything over, perceives clearly enough what are the crimes to be committed, with the motives for committing them. There can be no ambiguity about the nature of the nefarious conspiracy. It has all been hatched, and pre-arranged, on shore; and the scoundrels have come aboard specially for its execution. The four Spaniards—or Californians, as he believes them to be—must have had knowledge ...
— The Flag of Distress - A Story of the South Sea • Mayne Reid

... "fabulam dare." The first expression means to "deceive" or "impose upon;" the latter phrase has also the same meaning, but it may signify as well "to represent" or "produce a Play." Thus the exclamation in its ambiguity may mean, "he has produced a Play, and has not succeeded in deceiving us," or "he has deceived us, and yet has not deceived us." This is the interpretation which Donatus puts ...
— The Comedies of Terence - Literally Translated into English Prose, with Notes • Publius Terentius Afer, (AKA) Terence

... be out of the question to trust to words, however choicely picked, for, upon inspection, there was a delightful ambiguity about every one of this girl's features that defied such idiotic makeshifts. Her eyes, for example, I noted with a faint thrill of surprise, just escaped being brown by virtue of an amber glow they had; what colour, then, was ...
— The Cords of Vanity • James Branch Cabell et al

... that I could think, as does my friend, That ambiguity of sentiment Informed the utterance of the noble lord [As oft does ambiguity of word], I might with satisfied and sure resolve Vote straight for the Address. But eyeing well The flimsy web there woven to entrap The credence of my honourable friends, I must with ...
— The Dynasts - An Epic-Drama Of The War With Napoleon, In Three Parts, - Nineteen Acts, And One Hundred And Thirty Scenes • Thomas Hardy

... express Man. But for all that, there is a deal of commonsense left in the world, and people do know when priests or politicians are honestly trying to express a mystery—and when they are only taking advantage of an ambiguity. ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Maisie Ward

... dimensions of a bump by saying it was about the size of a piece of chalk. To the Kaffir an impi is an army, whether small or large, and it is almost impossible to bring home to him the value of exactness. In fact, in the matter of ambiguity the Kaffir has the makings of a politician, and therefore it was no wonder that so many of the well-organised military schemes in this unlucky war came to grief. But in the case at Stormberg there were ...
— South Africa and the Transvaal War, Vol. 2 (of 6) - From the Commencement of the War to the Battle of Colenso, - 15th Dec. 1899 • Louis Creswicke

... "configuration," every "event" as a change of configuration, every predicate ascribed must be of a geometrical sort. Measured by these requirements of mechanics Spencer's attempt has lamentably failed. His terms are vagueness and ambiguity incarnate, and he seems incapable of keeping the mechanical point of view in ...
— Memories and Studies • William James

... scope to the exercise of an active and fruitful imagination. In respect to composition, he is likewise liable to censure. At one time he wearies, and at another tantalises the reader, with the prolixity or ambiguity of his preambles. His prelusive sentiments are sometimes far-fetched, and converge not with a natural declination into the focus of epigram. In dispensing praise and censure, he often seems to be governed more by prejudice ...
— The Lives Of The Twelve Caesars, Complete - To Which Are Added, His Lives Of The Grammarians, Rhetoricians, And Poets • C. Suetonius Tranquillus

... duplicity; his views as to slavery under the Constitution considered; on Abolitionists; on negro race; his freedom from animosity toward opponents or slaveholders; does not denounce slaveholders; his fairness a mental trait; on popular sovereignty; convicts Douglas of ambiguity; alleged purpose to discredit Douglas as presidential candidate; feels himself upholder of a great cause; his moral denunciation of slavery; his literary form; elevation of tone; disappointed at defeat by Douglas; exhausted by his efforts; asked ...
— Abraham Lincoln, Vol. II • John T. Morse

... It was borne in upon him that Mrs. Fazakerly was vulgar, after all. She looked at him, and her pince-nez balanced itself on the bridge of her nose, then leapt its suicidal leap. She was amused with the ambiguity ...
— The Return of the Prodigal • May Sinclair

... king, speech ought always to be free from the nine verbal faults and the nine faults of judgment. It should also, while setting forth the meaning with perspicuity, be possessed of the eighteen well-known merits.[1688] Ambiguity, ascertainment of the faults and merits of premises and conclusions, weighing the relative strength or weakness of those faults and merits, establishment of the conclusion, and the element of persuasiveness or otherwise that attaches to the ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 - Books 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 • Unknown

... This ambiguity of every fact in Nature comes from the difficulty of detecting its true connection. There is reality there, even in blight and corruption; something is forwarded, only perhaps not the thing before us,—as the ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 13, No. 76, February, 1864 • Various

... when we come upon it unexpectedly—this kind of thing; the more so because the poetry we have grown accustomed to, in our generation, is so different from this; so mystical and subjective, so remote from the crowd, so dim with the trailing mists of fanciful ambiguity. ...
— Suspended Judgments - Essays on Books and Sensations • John Cowper Powys

... honor of our flag was never compromised. No! never did this noble flag cover with its folds a more noble enterprise. History will tell. I confidently invoke its testimony and its judgment. History will throw a veil over all the ambiguity, tergiversation and contestation which have been pointed to with so much bitterness and so eager a desire to spread discord amongst us. It will ignore all this, or, rather, it will proclaim it all, in order that the greatness of the undertaking ...
— Pius IX. And His Time • The Rev. AEneas MacDonell

... the word ambassador has a peculiar ambiguity about it, owing to its use in modern political affairs; and these clergymen assume that the word, as used by St. Paul, means an Ambassador Plenipotentiary; representative of his King, and capable of acting for his King. What right have they to assume that St. Paul meant this? St. Paul ...
— On the Old Road, Vol. 2 (of 2) - A Collection of Miscellaneous Essays and Articles on Art and Literature • John Ruskin

... natural, with very little dependence on local or temporary customs, on those changeable scenes of artificial life, which, by mingling original with accidental notions and crowding the mind with images which time effaces, produces ambiguity in dictation and obscurity in books. To this open display of unadulterated nature it must be ascribed that Homer has fewer passages of doubtful meaning than any other poet either in the learned or in modern languages. I have read of a man who, being by his ignorance of Greek compelled ...
— Lives of the English Poets: Prior, Congreve, Blackmore, Pope • Samuel Johnson

... was the transferred instruction. The cabman, quick to note the ambiguity in the direction given, prepared, with the subtlety of his kind, for ...
— Nedra • George Barr McCutcheon

... persuasion of her own powers in penetrating the future, we have seen that Hilda had never consulted her oracles on the fate of Harold, without a dark and awful sense of the ambiguity of their responses. That fate, involving the mightiest interests of a great race, and connected with events operating on the farthest times and the remotest lands, lost itself to her prophetic ken amidst omens the most contradictory, shadows and lights the most conflicting, meshes the most entangled. ...
— Harold, Complete - The Last Of The Saxon Kings • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... waiting to see what was going to happen elsewhere in respect of the succession to the throne. It was only when he knew that, on the 27th of October, the parliament of Paris had, not without some little hesitation and ambiguity, recognized "as King of England and of France, Henry VI., son of Henry V. lately deceased," that the dauphin Charles assumed on the 30th of October, in his castle of Mehun-sur-Yevre, the title of king, and repaired to Bourges to ...
— A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times - Volume III. of VI. • Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot

... of responsibility for himself, I must utter my belief in the divine inspiration of the founding fathers. Surely there must have been God's intent in the making of this new-world Republic. Ours is an organic law which had but one ambiguity, and we saw that effaced in a baptism of sacrifice and blood, with union maintained, the Nation supreme, and its concord inspiring. We have seen the world rivet its hopeful gaze on the great truths on ...
— U.S. Presidential Inaugural Addresses • Various

... example. The Hebraism [Greek: meta salpingos phones megales] (St. Matt. xxiv. 31) presents an uncongenial ambiguity to Western readers, as our own incorrect A. V. sufficiently shews. Two methods of escape from the difficulty suggested themselves to the ancients:—(a) Since 'a trumpet of great sound' means nothing else but 'a loud trumpet,' and since this can be as well expressed by [Greek: ...
— The Causes of the Corruption of the Traditional Text of the Holy Gospels • John Burgon

... during the discussion in the Senate upon the resolution of inquiry presented by Mr. Douglas, Mr. Clayton, then Senator from Delaware, admitted that the ambiguity of the treaty is so great, that on some future occasion a conventional article, clearly stating what are the limits of the Central America named in the ...
— The Bay State Monthly, Volume 3, No. 1 • Various

... facts of the Gospel as it appears to us now? There is a certain ambiguity as to the phrase 'in order.' We cannot be quite sure what Papias meant by it, but the most natural conclusion seems to be that it meant chronological order. If so, the statement of Papias seems to be so far borne out that none of the Synoptic Gospels is really in exact ...
— The Gospels in the Second Century - An Examination of the Critical Part of a Work - Entitled 'Supernatural Religion' • William Sanday

... This was what gave plausibility to the whispers that Mr. Hooper's conscience tortured him for some great crime too horrible to be entirely concealed or otherwise than so obscurely intimated. Thus from beneath the black veil there rolled a cloud into the sunshine, an ambiguity of sin or sorrow, which enveloped the poor minister, so that love or sympathy could never reach him. It was said that ghost and fiend consorted with him there. With self-shudderings and outward terrors he walked continually in its shadow, groping darkly within his own soul or gazing ...
— Twice Told Tales • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... I do not naturally distinguish metal and mettle in pronunciation, tho' when there is any danger of ambiguity I say metal for the former and met'l for the latter; and I should probably do so (without thinking about it) in a public speech. In my young days the people about me usually pronounced met'l ...
— Society for Pure English Tract 4 - The Pronunciation of English Words Derived from the Latin • John Sargeaunt

... this kind of ambiguity, and in practice still more insidious, is the ambiguity which arises from the connotation or emotional implications of words. The use of "republican" and "democrat" cited above runs over into this kind of confusion. In collegiate athletics "professional" has come to have almost an implication of ...
— The Making of Arguments • J. H. Gardiner

... revealed to us. What in others is most profound, is with him but surface. Ill-advised should we be were we always to take men's declarations respecting themselves and others for sterling coin. Ambiguity of design with much propriety he makes to overflow with the most praiseworthy principles; and sage maxims are not infrequently put in the mouth of stupidity, to show how easily such commonplace truisms may be acquired. Nobody ever painted so truthfully as he ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. IV • Editor-in-Chief: Kuno Francke

... guilt with others. The town-council of Mutina, too, kept adding to their anxiety by offering them arms and money, styling them with ill-timed respect 'Conscript Fathers'. A 53 remarkable quarrel arose at this meeting. Licinius Caecina attacked Eprius Marcellus[331] for the ambiguity of his language. Not that the others disclosed their sentiments, but Caecina, who was still a nobody, recently raised to the senate, sought to distinguish himself by quarrelling with some one of importance, and selected Marcellus, because ...
— Tacitus: The Histories, Volumes I and II • Caius Cornelius Tacitus

... read the Code itself—first the Summary and then the full text that follows it. No doubt many who do so will be put off at first by the somewhat legal language used. One can only repeat the time-honoured defence by lawyers when similarly attacked—that to avoid ambiguity experience has shown that a certain amount of jargon is necessary! We have tried hard, in the Code, to ...
— Northern Nut Growers Association Report of the Proceedings at the 44th Annual Meeting • Various

... The studied ambiguity of the report which awards two first prizes to the competing engines, is no less apparent than the desire ...
— Scientific American, Vol.22, No. 1, January 1, 1870 • Various

... for a place in the world, could quite fail them: a state of things sagely perceived to be involved in an hierarchical, an aristocratic order. Just whereabouts in the order Mrs. Lowder had established her niece was a question not wholly void, as yet, no doubt, of ambiguity—though Milly was withal sure Lord Mark could exactly have fixed the point if he would, fixing it at the same time for Aunt Maud herself; but it was clear that Mrs. Condrip was, as might have been said, in quite another geography. She would not, in short, have been to ...
— The Wings of the Dove, Volume 1 of 2 • Henry James

... sentiments with so much violence, and at an unseasonable time; but as he cannot prevail on himself to assume the dissimulation which is necessary to be well received in the world, he is perfectly in the right in preferring solitude to society. Rousseau has already censured the ambiguity of the piece, by which what is deserving of approbation seems to be turned into ridicule. His opinion was not altogether unprejudiced; for his own character, and his behaviour towards the world, had a striking similarity to that of Alceste; ...
— Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature • August Wilhelm Schlegel

... too numerous to mention, all this difference, I say, is co-extensive with America before and after taking the labor treatment. But what can we say of the politician and his doings during these years, stripped of all ambiguity, when we tell the unpolished, but plain truth, we must say he never advanced one iota until he was routed from his old position by the toiling masses. It is curious to note that every new social, ...
— One Thousand Secrets of Wise and Rich Men Revealed • C. A. Bogardus

... had come away with two, each the germ of a distinct theory, and both obscured by the prevailing ambiguity. Now, however, as we thumbed the chart and I gave full rein to my fancy, one of them, the idea of Memmert, gained precision and vigour every moment. True, such information as we had about the French wreck and his own connection with ...
— Riddle of the Sands • Erskine Childers

... tower. He is also occasionally spoken of as a son of Clarence, and sometimes as an illegitimate son of Richard III.—any royal personage, in fact, whose age happened to suit. In spite of the slight ambiguity which overhung his princely origin, he was received with high honour in Cork, and having appealed to the Earls of Desmond and Kildare, was accepted by the former with open arms. "You Irish would crown apes!" Henry afterwards said, ...
— The Story Of Ireland • Emily Lawless

... full well that a very different pattern was in use among the southern patriarchs. Why did he not, in plain words, and sober earnest, and good faith, describe the thing as it was, instead of employing honied words and courtly phrases, to set forth with all becoming vagueness and ambiguity what might possibly be supposed to exist in ...
— The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus • American Anti-Slavery Society

... recourse, to harmonize them, to various logical processes, but principally to the one described in the last chapter, of diverting the student, at all difficult points, from criticism to edification. The Second Broad Church uses no ambiguity, but frankly avows that when the Bible contradicts science, the Bible must be in error. The First Broad Church maintains that the inspiration of the Bible differs in kind as well as in degree from that of other books. The Second Broad Church appears to hold that it differs in ...
— History of Rationalism Embracing a Survey of the Present State of Protestant Theology • John F. Hurst

... question here what was meant: it was "the people of the States," designated by name, that were to "ordain, declare, and establish" the compact of union for themselves and their posterity. There is no ambiguity nor uncertainty in the language; nor was there any difference in the Convention as to the use of it. The preamble, as perfected, was submitted to vote on the next day, and, as the journal informs us, "it passed ...
— The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government • Jefferson Davis

... would be wrong. Yet when the usher stood before me, holding the slate out in his white and shaking hand, I seized the pencil, and, ignoring the first question, I wrote 'Yes' firmly against the second. I suppose that the ambiguity of this action puzzled Mr. B. He pressed me to answer: 'Did you do it?' but to that I was obstinately dumb; and away I was hurried to an empty bed-room, where for the whole of that night and the next day I was ...
— Father and Son • Edmund Gosse

... giving themselves up wholly to the impulse and inclination of the moment; and, like brute beasts, they are utterly ignorant of the distinction between right and wrong. They express themselves with great ambiguity and obscurity; have no respect for any religion or superstition whatever; are immoderately covetous of gold; and are so fickle and irascible, that they very often on the same day that they quarrel with their companions without any provocation, again become reconciled to them ...
— The Roman History of Ammianus Marcellinus • Ammianus Marcellinus

... not knowing where to find underwriters who would choose to insure them, and not finding it convenient to a purse like mine to run any hazard, even upon the credit of my own ingenuity, I was very much in doubt for some weeks whether any bookseller would be willing to subject himself to an ambiguity that might prove very expensive in case of a bad market. But Johnson has heroically set all peradventures at defiance, and takes the whole charge upon himself. So out I come. I shall be glad of my Translations from Vincent Bourne in your next frank. My muse will lay herself at your feet immediately ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. IV (of X)—Great Britain and Ireland II • Various

... cause, and obtaining forgiveness for his indiscretion. He did not judge it safe to go into any detail concerning the circumstances by which he had been misled, and upon the whole endeavoured to express himself with such ambiguity, that if the letter should fall into wrong hands, it would be difficult either to understand its real purport, or to trace the writer. This letter the old man undertook faithfully to deliver to his daughter at Woodbourne: and, as his trade would speedily again bring him or his ...
— Guy Mannering • Sir Walter Scott

... define the Figure of the fleeting Air. Sometimes it lieth in pat Allusion to a known Story, or in seasonable Application of a trivial Saying, or in forging an apposite Tale: Sometimes it playeth in Words and Phrases, taking Advantage from the Ambiguity of their Sense, or the Affinity of their Sound: Sometimes it is wrapp'd in a Dress of humorous Expression: Sometimes it lurketh under an odd Similitude: Sometimes it is lodged in a sly Question, in a ...
— An Essay towards Fixing the True Standards of Wit, Humour, Railery, Satire, and Ridicule (1744) • Corbyn Morris

... I have proof of it. A man in private life would be justified in ignoring such gossip, but for a man in my profession ambiguity has no place, nor has compromise. Himself a severe judge of the conduct of others, he must not afford them a single instance whereby they can accuse him of not following his ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... disgust he classed the story as one of the lies bred in the malarious air of after-dinner gossip; but gradually he saw that, whether true or not, it had sufficient circulation to cast a shade of ambiguity on the persons concerned. Bessy alone seemed deaf to the rumours about her friend. There was something captivating to her in Mrs. Carbury's slang and noise, in her defiance of decorum and contempt of criticism. "I like Blanche because she doesn't pretend," was Bessy's vague justification ...
— The Fruit of the Tree • Edith Wharton

... in our language, is common-wealth, and most properly expresses such a society of men, which community or city in English does not; for there may be subordinate communities in a government; and city amongst us has a quite different notion from common-wealth: and therefore, to avoid ambiguity, I crave leave to use the word common-wealth in that sense, in which I find it used by king James the first; and I take it to be its genuine signification; which if any body dislike, I consent with him to change it ...
— Two Treatises of Government • John Locke

... careful consideration, we have fixed in the subjoined schedule the prices of the various articles of produce, which prices are to remain free from all ambiguity. ...
— The Letters of Cassiodorus - Being A Condensed Translation Of The Variae Epistolae Of - Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator • Cassiodorus (AKA Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator)

... books, whereby letters are dropped out here and there, or particular collocations of letters represented by somewhat arbitrary symbols. The commonest form of abbreviation is the substitution for a word of its initial letter; but, with a view to prevent ambiguity, one or more of the other letters are frequently added. Letters are often doubled to indicate a plural or a ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... too, a special source of ambiguity in the catchword used by the revolutionary school. They spoke of a return to nature. What, to ask once more a very troublesome question, is meant by nature? Does it mean inanimate nature? If so, is a love ...
— Hours in a Library - New Edition, with Additions. Vol. II (of 3) • Leslie Stephen

... just definition, which presents to the mind the precise idea; and in nice discrimination, which marks the essential difference of things. It is this faculty that throws a sudden light on every difficult question, removes all ambiguity, clears up what was doubtful, divides, develops, and separates, and then collects the argument to a point. But the orator must not be too fond of this close combat. The minute attention, which logic requires, will exclude what is of higher ...
— A Dialogue Concerning Oratory, Or The Causes Of Corrupt Eloquence • Cornelius Tacitus

... houses were not matters to be left open to dispute; a great deal of spilled blood and burned powder had resulted from ambiguity on some point of succession or inheritance or dower rights. Lucas bore it patiently; he didn't want his great-grandchildren and Elaine's shooting it out over a matter of ...
— Space Viking • Henry Beam Piper

... has been left to the intelligent reader, as he will not fail to perceive, to decide from the context in what sense the word was used. But at the present point, before we proceed to discuss sexual psychology in relation to marriage, it is necessary, in order to avoid ambiguity, to remind the reader what precisely are the chief main senses in which the word ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 6 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... Constitution had conferred upon it. I do not know how the provision, or the intention, either of the Constitution in granting the power, or of the States in making the cession, could be expressed in a manner more absolutely free from all doubt or ambiguity. ...
— The Great Speeches and Orations of Daniel Webster • Daniel Webster

... for another moment or two, apparently letting this sink in. It wasn't until he'd turned and walked out of the door that I realized the ambiguity of that retort of mine. I was almost prompted to go after him. But I checked myself by saying: "Well, if the shoe fits, put it on!" But in my heart of hearts I didn't mean it. I wanted him to come back, I wanted him to share my happiness with me, ...
— The Prairie Mother • Arthur Stringer

... Frost's "Lives of Eminent Christians." I will leave none of the ambiguity about my words in which Moore and Wordsworth seem to have delighted. I am very sorry the book is gone, and know not where to turn for its successor. Till I have found a substitute I can write no more, and I do not know how to find even ...
— Essays on Life, Art and Science • Samuel Butler

... in fine, but led to a different ending from what either anticipated. The "lady" who acted as "alcahuete" soon placed herself en rapport with Rosita; but her success was more equivocal than that of Vizcarra himself; in fact, I should rather say unequivocal, for there was no ambiguity about it. ...
— The White Chief - A Legend of Northern Mexico • Mayne Reid

... good affections and of solicitude for the public good is morally evil. He then discusses the bearing of ignorance and error, vincible and invincible, and specially the case wherein an erroneous conscience extenuates. The difficulty of such cases, he says, are due to ambiguity, wherefore he distinguishes three meanings of Conscience that are found, (1) the moral faculty, (2) the judgment of the understanding about the springs and effects of actions, upon which the moral sense approves or condemns them, (3) our judgments ...
— Moral Science; A Compendium of Ethics • Alexander Bain

... allow me, Pyrophilus, for the avoiding of Ambiguity, to imploy the Word Pigments, to signifie such prepared materials (as Cochinele, Vermilion, Orpiment,) as Painters, Dyers and other Artificers make use of to impart or imitate particular Colours, I shall be the better ...
— Experiments and Considerations Touching Colours (1664) • Robert Boyle

... company residing at Santa Fe informed the missionaries of the Orinoco of the persecutions to which the Jesuits were exposed in New Grenada. This letter recommended no measure of precaution; it was short, without ambiguity, and respectful towards the government, whose orders were executed with useless and ...
— Equinoctial Regions of America V2 • Alexander von Humboldt

... people would at times make fun in small ways of the whole system; indeed, there was hardly any insinuation against it which they would not tolerate and even applaud in their daily newspapers if written anonymously, while if the same thing were said without ambiguity to their faces—nominative case verb and accusative being all in their right places, and doubt impossible—they would consider themselves very seriously and justly outraged, and accuse ...
— Erewhon • Samuel Butler

... with the full name of the writer. A possible exception might be made of those addressed to members of one's own family, where the use of the Christian name only would mean no ambiguity, or where the signing of the surname gives a touch of formality. It is well, however, to remember that letters placed in the post take the chances of fortune, and, with the plainest of addresses, may, by the absence of the person or for some other cause, bring up in the Dead-Letter Office. Their ...
— The Etiquette of To-day • Edith B. Ordway

... hand without receiving some fresh touch of embellishment. How comes it then, we may be asked, that in many passages the Author curtails instead of enlarging on the original? On that point we are agreed: the Author does so in order to avoid lengthiness and ambiguity,—two faults which are inadmissible in such matters, especially the latter. For if lucidity is to be commended in all literary works, we may say that it is especially necessary in narratives, where one thing is, as a rule, the sequel and the result of another; where the less important sometimes ...
— The Tales and Novels, Complete • Jean de La Fontaine

... thought. These causes are not removable by definite rules, and therefore, though not neglected, are not prominently considered in this book. My object rather is to point out some few continually recurring causes of ambiguity, and to suggest definite remedies in each case. Speeches in Parliament, newspaper narratives and articles, and, above all, resolutions at public meetings, furnish abundant instances of obscurity arising from the monotonous neglect of some ...
— How to Write Clearly - Rules and Exercises on English Composition • Edwin A. Abbott

... of pronunciation was, in general, so indistinct, that it seldom happened that any two of us, in writing down the fame word, from the same mouth, made use of the same vowels in representing it. Nay, we even, very commonly, differed about consonants, the sounds of which are least liable to ambiguity. Besides all this, we found, by experience, that we had been led into strange corruptions of some of the most common words, either from the natives endeavouring to imitate us, or from our having misunderstood them. Thus, cheeto was universally ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. 15 (of 18) • Robert Kerr

... affiliations during these years is equally nebulous. Only by throwing light upon Burbage's activities during these years can we hope for light upon Shakespeare during the same period. Much of the ambiguity regarding Burbage's affairs during these years arises from the fact that critics persist in regarding him as an actor and an active member of a regular theatrical company after 1576, instead of recognising the palpable fact that he was now also a theatrical manager ...
— Shakespeare's Lost Years in London, 1586-1592 • Arthur Acheson

... x, 1) that "since in speaking Latin not only unlettered but even most cultured persons ere wont to speak of religion as being exhibited, to our human kindred and relations as also to those who are linked with us by any kind of tie, that term does not escape ambiguity when it is a question of Divine worship, so that we be able to say without hesitation that religion is nothing else but the worship of God." Therefore religion signifies a relation not only to God ...
— Summa Theologica, Part II-II (Secunda Secundae) • Thomas Aquinas

... the Senate Judiciary Committee, machine claquers filled the air with the indefinite promise that in the event of the Wright bill becoming a law, a constitutional amendment would be adopted, by which all ambiguity in the State Constitution on the question of maximum and absolute rates would be removed. The amendment was then pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which finally ...
— Story of the Session of the California Legislature of 1909 • Franklin Hichborn

... and our thinking then exists in a perfectly ordinary sense, like any other mental act. Suppose, for example, that we are thinking of whiteness. Then in one sense it may be said that whiteness is 'in our mind'. We have here the same ambiguity as we noted in discussing Berkeley in Chapter IV. In the strict sense, it is not whiteness that is in our mind, but the act of thinking of whiteness. The connected ambiguity in the word 'idea', which we noted at the ...
— The Problems of Philosophy • Bertrand Russell

... questioning involves three factors: (1) Freedom from ambiguity or obscurity of wording; (2) adaptation to the age and understanding of the pupil; (3) ...
— The Recitation • George Herbert Betts

... memory, as we observe it in ourselves and others, under circumstances in which we shall agree in calling it memory pure and simple without ambiguity of terms—is there anything in memory which bars us from supposing it capable of overleaping a long time of abeyance, and thus of enabling each impregnate ovum, or each grain, to remember what it did when last in a like condition, ...
— Life and Habit • Samuel Butler

... to tell the truth once, don't cut no ice," Happy Jack maintained with sufficient ambiguity to ...
— The Flying U's Last Stand • B. M. Bower

... problems; and in his desire to reconcile and solve, he occasionally is in danger of wrenching his characters out of drawing and muddling their motives. Half a dozen critics have already called attention to the ambiguity of Mathilde's position and intentions in "The Newly Married." That she loves Axel, the husband, is clear; and the probability is that she meant to avenge herself upon him for having before his marriage used her as a decoy, ...
— Essays on Scandinavian Literature • Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen

... not a silly boy," said Babbalanja, "when from the ambiguity of his speech, you could so easily have derived something flattering, thus to seek to extract unpleasantness from it? Be wise, Yoomy; and hereafter, whenever a remark like that seems equivocal, be sure to wrest commendation from it, though you torture ...
— Mardi: and A Voyage Thither, Vol. I (of 2) • Herman Melville

... If he sometimes seems to modern readers to assume his premisses, the conclusions follow much more rigidly than is customary with a good many of our later philosophers, who protest against the assumption of premisses; but having so protested neglect the ambiguity of terms, and leave their middles undistributed, and perpetrate illicit process with a gaiety of heart which is extremely edifying, or who fancy that they are building systems of philosophy when they are in reality constructing dictionaries of terms. But his argument is of less ...
— A History of English Literature - Elizabethan Literature • George Saintsbury

... vile of its contents. The net "was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away." There is no ambiguity here; the drawers are also the dividers. I suppose none will take advantage of the impersonal form in which the casting of the net is expressed, and assume that while one class, representing a human ...
— The Parables of Our Lord • William Arnot

... nothing beyond a verbal ambiguity here if we look at it closely, and yet there is a corresponding uncertainty in the conception of Literature and Art commonly entertained, which leads many writers and many critics into the belief that what are called "effects" should be sought, and when found ...
— The Principles of Success in Literature • George Henry Lewes

... translated his work from the English of one Mr. D'Avisson (Davidson?) although there is a terrible ambiguity in the statement. "J' en ai eu," says he "l'original de Monsieur D'Avisson, medecin des mieux versez qui soient aujourd'huy dans la cnoissance des Belles Lettres, et sur tout de la Philosophic Naturelle. Je lui ai ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 1 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... there exist various passages of the New Testament (e.g., 2 Cor. xi. 3; 1 Tim. ii. 13, 14; Rom. v. 12), in which the context of the passage before us is referred to as a real historical fact;—and there are the embarrassment, ambiguity, and arbitrariness shown by the allegorical interpreters whenever they attempt to exhibit the truth intended to be conveyed; whereas perspicuity is a characteristic essential to an allegory.—The subtlety of the [Pg 15] serpent, ...
— Christology of the Old Testament: And a Commentary on the Messianic Predictions, v. 1 • Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg



Words linked to "Ambiguity" :   saying, locution, unequivocalness, no man's land, unclearness, parisology, amphibology, evasiveness, prevarication, unambiguity, double entendre, polysemy, equivocalness, loophole, expression, twilight zone



Copyright © 2021 Diccionario ingles.com