Word of the Day

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

disambiguate

\dis-am-BIG-yoo-eyt\ , verb;
1.
to remove the ambiguity from; make unambiguous: In order to disambiguate the sentence "She lectured on the famous passenger ship," you'll have to write either "lectured on board" or "lectured about."
Quotes:
The additional specifications on the part of Spanish offer the reader a grammatical signal about word relationships that helps to disambiguate sentences. English, in contrast, offers little grammatical signaling here.
-- Edited by Elfrieda H. Hiebert, Reading More, Reading Better, 2009
The general idea behind this disambiguation task is that some verbs have different meanings and the context in which they appear is used to disambiguate them.
-- Edited by Dawei Song et al., Quantum Interaction, 2011
Origin:
Disambiguate entered English in the 1960s as the negative verbal equivalent to ambiguous. Interestingly, there is no verb form of ambiguous in English.
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