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Ambiguity Definition

William Empson defined ambiguity as: 'any verbal nuance, however slight, which gives room for alternative reactions to the same piece of language'. Although ambiguity is not desirable in prose, in poetry it can sometimes add extra layers of meaning. Figurative language - such as metaphors - often create ambiguity. In 1930 Empson published a critical work entitled Seven Types of Ambiguity.

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Other Ambiguity Definition

[n] unclearness by virtue of having more than one meaning
[n] an expression whose meaning cannot be determined from its context



Misc. Definitions

\Am`bi*gu"i*ty\, n.; pl. {Ambiguities}. [L. ambiguitas, fr. ambiguus: cf. F. ambiguit['e].] 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. --I. Taylor. The words are of single signification, without any ambiguity. --South.

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