amphibology

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Related to amphibologies: amphiboly

am·phi·bol·o·gy

 (ăm′fə-bŏl′ə-jē)
n. pl. am·phi·bol·o·gies
An ambiguous or equivocal statement.

[French amphibologie, from Late Latin amphibologia : Latin amphibo(lia), ambiguity (from Greek amphiboliā, from amphibolos, doubtful; see amphibole) + Latin -logia, -logy (added on the model of such words as tautologia, tautology).]

amphibology

(ˌæmfɪˈbɒlədʒɪ) or

amphiboly

n, pl -gies or -lies
(Logic) ambiguity of expression, esp when due to a grammatical construction, as in save rags and waste paper
[C14: from Late Latin amphibologia, ultimately from Greek amphibolos ambiguous; see amphibole, -logy]
ˌamphiˈbolic, amphibolous adj
amphibological adj
amˌphiboˈlogically adv

am•phib•o•ly

(æmˈfɪb ə li)

n., pl. -lies.
ambiguity of speech, esp. from uncertainty of the grammatical construction rather than of the meaning of the words, as in The Duke yet lives that Henry shall depose.
[1580–90; < Latin amphibolia < Greek, =amphíbol(os) ambiguous, n. derivative of amphibállein to throw round, be in dispute + -ia -y3]

amphibology

1. an ambiguity of language.
2. a word, phrase, or sentence that can be interpreted variously because of uncertainty of grammatical construction rather than ambiguity of the words used, as “John met his father when he was sick.” Also amphibologism, amphiboly.amphibological, amphibolous, adj.
See also: Grammar
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.amphibology - an ambiguous grammatical construction; e.g., `they are flying planes' can mean either that someone is flying planes or that something is flying planes
ambiguity - an expression whose meaning cannot be determined from its context
Translations
References in periodicals archive ?
In light of these macroscopic amphibologies marking the sixteenth century, Deborah Losse's brief book comprehensively examines prologues to French collections of mostly short prose fiction ("contes").