ambi-, amb-, ambo-

(Latin: both, on both sides; around, about; vague; obscure)

ambiance, ambience (AM bee uhns) (s) (noun), ambiances, ambiences (pl)
1. The mood, character, quality, tone, atmosphere, etc., particularly of an environment or milieu: The seaside resort had a delightful ambiance when Jill and Peter were there on their vacation.
2. Anything which surrounds or encompasses a surroundings: The ambience of candles, comfortable furniture, and soft music increased the pleasure of being in Lydia's and Patrick's living room in the evening.
A neighborhood shows the environment or ambiance in which a boy lives.
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ambidexter (s) (noun), ambidexters (pl)
1. The ability to use either hand with equal skill: Lynn’s sister is an ambidexter, who is able to write with a pen, pencil, or chalk by holding each one with her left or right manual extremities of the arms.
2. General skillfulness; especially, with the hands; very skillful and versatile; using both hands with equal facility: Greg’s wife was obviously an amibidexter because she played the piano with magnificent expertise! 
3. Someone who is equally ready to act on either side of disputes: As the supervisor of his company, Steven was an ambidexter who listened to the arguments presented by two employees and he made a decision as to which one had the most rational viewpoint to follow.
ambidexterity (am" bi dek STER i tee) (s) (noun), ambidexterities (pl)
1. The ability to perform manual skills easily with one or the other hand: Ambidexterity involves writing or using cutlery with the same adroitness, or proficiency, because there is no definite handedness or preference for using just one hand to do anything.
2. General skillfulness, especially with the hands; very skillful and versatile; using both hands with equal success: Jane was an expert at making her own ceramics, which was of excellent quality and showed her ambidexterity and mastery in creating perfectly formed vases and bowls.
A man displays his ambidexterity by writing with both hands at the same time.
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ambidextrous (am bi DEK struhs) (adjective), more ambidextrous, most ambidextrous
1. Concerning someone who is able to use both manual extensions of the arms equally well; unusually, skillful and versatile: Bill was ambidextrous in that he could pitch the baseball equally well with either his left or his right hand.

Since Mike, the juggler, was ambidextrous, he could start his performance with a circular motion to either his left or to his right side.

2. Unusually skillful; adroit; quickness with mental skills: Gilbert was an ambidextrous pianist.
3. Two faced, dishonest, and hypocritical: Becky Sharp, in the novel Vanity Fair, was ambidextrous in her personal relationships.
4. Etymology: the word ambidextrous is derived from the Latin roots ambi, "both" and dexter, "right" (as opposed to left) or "favorable"; therefore, ambidextrous literally means "right on both sides".

Ambidexterity refers to being equally adept with each hand (or, to a limited degree, feet).

"A person is ambidextrous when his left hand knows what his right hand is doing."
—Anonymous
Able to use both hands skillfully.
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ambidextrously (adverb), more ambidextrously, most ambidextrously
1. Pertaining to how a person can use both hands with identical ease: It is necessary for Dr. Jones to work ambidextrously when performing surgery, because it is obvious that using only one hand wouldn’t be possible!
2. Descriptive of how someone is quick or clever in a cognitive way: Joan was a good player at scrabble, being ambidextrously talented at finding new words for the game.
3. Referring to acting or behaving in a false and insincere way: Jack ambidextrously deceived his friends by pretending to support them in the demonstration and then purposely never showing up!
ambidextrousness (s) (noun) (no plural)
The left or the right hand that performs various tasks with the same results: Susan’s ambidextrousness was shown by her ease and preciseness of writing beautifully using either one or the other of her manual multi-fingered extremities.
ambient (AM bee uhnt) (adjective), more ambient, most ambient
Referring to the immediately surrounding area or encircling region: James was suddenly inundated or engulfed in an ambient snow storm which had just started to fall all around him while he was walking home from school.
ambient noise (s) (noun), ambient noises (pl)
The loud reverberations that come from sources in a given environment: The ambient noises, or background sounds, of cars on the freeway was heard from the condo balcony in the high-rise building complex and sometimes they could be irritating for the residents residing there.

Sometimes parades can produce ambient noises that are very disturbing for some people.

A patient can't remember having amnesia.
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ambient noise level (s) (noun), ambient noise levels (pl)
The uncontrollable background rackets of sounds in certain areas: For some people, there are ambient noise levels near expressways that can't always be endured or tolerated.
ambiguity (s) (noun), ambiguities (pl)
1. A situation in which something can be understood in more than one way and it is not clear which meaning is intended: The journalist was told by his editor to remove the ambiguities from his article by adding more valid details and to clarify what was going on.
2. An expression or statement that has more than one meaning: There were ambiguities in the diagnosis by the physician regarding Nick's mental condition.
3. That which causes uncertainty or confusion: Because of the nature of the ambiguities of the answers provided by the politician, people were becoming less confident in his qualifications.
ambiguous (am BIG yoo uhs) (adjective), more ambiguous, most ambiguous
1. Concerning statements which have several possible meanings or interpretations; equivocal: Mary gave her parents an ambiguous answer instead of a clear explanation as to why she came home so late.
2. Relating to something of a doubtful or uncertain nature; regarding an aspect difficult to comprehend, to distinguish, or to classify: It was clear from Jim's note to his parents that he had left the country, but as to where his destination would be, he was ambiguous.
3. Pertaining to a situation which lacks clearness or definiteness; obscure; indistinct: Ambiguous can refer to a person or the contents in a piece of writing.
4. Etymology: from Latin ambiguus, "having double meanings, shifting, changeable, doubtful"; derived from ambigere, "to dispute about"; literally, "to wander"; from ambi-, "about" + agere, "to drive, to lead, to act".

"Ambivalent" refers to people and their attitudes while ambiguous refers to something said or written.

Not clearly explained nor understood.
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A vague or dubious meaning.
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Having two or more possible meanings, vague.
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Doubtful, not clear or definite.
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Word History

Latin amb-, "about, around," combined with agere, "to drive", formed ambigere, literally, "to drive around, to waver". Out of this word grew the Latin ambiguus, "hesitating, uncertain". English borrowed it as ambiguous, with the meaning "equivocal, capable of being understood in either of two or more possible senses, vague."

—Based on information from Picturesque Word Origins; published by G & C. Merriam Company;
Springfield, Massachusetts; 1933; page 15.
ambiguously (adverb), more ambiguously, most ambiguously
1. Characteristic of how something might be understood in two or more possible senses or interpretations: Sandra ambiguously answered the question asked by her mother as to when she would marry her boyfriend because they had not made up their minds on a specific date.
2. Etymology: a descriptive term derived from ambigere, "to dispute about"; literally, "to wander" from ambi-, "about" + agere, "to drive, to lead, to act".
ambiguousness (s) (noun) (no plural)
1. The state or quality of being vague, unclear, or being open to many interpretations: The ambiguousness, or uncertainty, of Jack’s answer didn’t help Elizabeth understand why he was looking for a new job.
2. The vagueness of something which makes people hesitant to accept what has been presented by someone: The ambiguousness of the mayor’s plans for the new city hall created a lot of confusion in the minds of the citizens.

When the speaker used the ambiguousness of "1 + 2 = 3", Mark didn't know if the man meant "one man plus two women", or "one woman plus two men", or "a father, a mother, plus a child"; as shown in the illustration below.

A man displays his ambidexterity by writing with both hands at the same time.
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ambilateral (am" bi LAT er uhl) (adjective), more ambilateral, most ambilateral
A reference to affecting both the right and the left sides of someone or something: When Rebecca went to the doctor, she explained to him that she felt ambilateral pains in her arms.
ambilevosity (s) (noun), ambilevosities (pl)
The inability to perform acts requiring manual skills with either or both hands: Sometimes Mike had a handicap as a mechanic because of his awkward ambilevosities.

Jane broke both of her arms when she fell down the stairs and had them in casts; the ambilevosity that followed prevented her from doing anything until her arms were healed again.

Little Tommy was just one year old and the ambilevosity of holding a cup properly to drink from still needed more development!

Related "around, round, surrounding" units: ampho-; circ-; circum-; cyclo-, -cycle; gyro-; peri-.