- having mixed feelings about someone or something; being unable to choose between two (usually opposing) courses of action: The whole family was ambivalent about the move to the suburbs. She is regarded as a morally ambivalent character in the play.
- Psychology. of or relating to the coexistence within an individual of positive and negative feelings toward the same person, object, or action, simultaneously drawing him or her in opposite directions.
1916, originally a term in psychology; back-formation from ambivalence. In general use by 1929.