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[am-fib-uh-lee] /æmˈfɪb ə li/
noun, plural amphibolies.
ambiguity of speech, especially from uncertainty of the grammatical construction rather than of the meaning of the words, as in The Duke yet lives that Henry shall depose.
Also called amphibology.
Origin of amphiboly
1580-90; < Latin amphibolia < Greek. See amphibolous, -y3 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for amphiboly
  • The district court, finding an amphiboly, felt free to place an interpretive gloss on the phrase.
British Dictionary definitions for amphiboly


noun (pl) -gies, -lies
ambiguity of expression, esp when due to a grammatical construction, as in save rags and waste paper
Derived Forms
amphibolic, amphibolous (æmˈfɪbələs) adjective
amphibological (æmˌfɪbəˈlɒdʒɪkəl) adjective
amphibologically, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Late Latin amphibologia, ultimately from Greek amphibolos ambiguous; see amphibole, -logy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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