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ambivalence (noun) having opposite (good and bad) feelings about, or attitudes towards a person or a thing.

When you like a person one moment and hate them the next, you are in a state of ambivalence. If you have mutually opposite views about a person or a thing, your attitude is one of ambivalence about the person or the thing. Ambivalence is a state of conflicting emotions.

  • Eliza's ambivalence about her boy friend Sam confused him. He did not know what to make of her warmth alternating with her coolness towards him on a number of occasions.
  • A good number of people, including scientists feel some ambivalence about genetic innovations like test tube babies and human cloning, in view of their unforeseen and probably adverse effects on human society.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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