9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[am-bi-dek-struh s] /ˌæm bɪˈdɛk strəs/
able to use both hands equally well:
an ambidextrous surgeon.
unusually skillful; facile:
an ambidextrous painter, familiar with all media.
double-dealing; deceitful.
Slang. bisexual.
Origin of ambidextrous
1640-50; ambidext(e)r + -ous
Related forms
ambidextrously, adverb
ambidextrousness, noun
pseudoambidextrous, adjective
pseudoambidextrously, adverb
Can be confused
ambidextrous, ambisextrous.
ambidextrous, ambisinistrous. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ambidextrous
  • Often the only penalty for having an ambidextrous mixture is that half of it is wasted.
  • His style is ambidextrous and probably unique.
  • He can just switch to the left hand and be ambidextrous.
  • To an extent, everybody is at least a little ambidextrous.
  • The good news: as we get older, we become more ambidextrous.
  • Both were ambidextrous, and they switched their rackets between hands and stroked only forehands.
  • My father is ambidextrous, and can draw with either hand.
  • My siblings are ambidextrous too, but one is left dominant.
  • It's my understanding that most lefties are ambidextrous to an extent.
  • Most of the rest are distinctly left-handed, though some are ambidextrous to one degree or another.
British Dictionary definitions for ambidextrous


equally expert with each hand
(informal) highly skilled or adept
underhanded; deceitful
Derived Forms
ambidexterity (ˌæmbɪdɛkˈstɛrɪtɪ), ambidextrousness, noun
ambidextrously, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ambidextrous

1640s, with -ous, from ambidexter (adj.) "double-dealing" (1610s), from French ambidextre or directly from Latin ambidexter, literally "right-handed on both sides," from ambi- "both" (see ambi-) + dexter "right-handed" (see dexterity). Its opposite, ambilevous "left-handed on both sides, clumsy" (1640s) is rare. Ambidexter as a noun, "one who takes bribes from both sides," is attested from 1530s and is the earliest form of the word in English; its sense of "one who uses both hands equally well" appears by 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ambidextrous in Medicine

ambidextrous am·bi·dex·trous (ām'bĭ-děk'strəs)
Able to use both hands with equal facility.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for ambidextrous



Bisexual; ac-dc

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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