Go to 'thermo-' entry Go to 'dino-' entry Go to 'chondro-' entry Go to 'aero-' entry Go to '-logy' entry Go to 'thaumato-' entry Go to 'nano-' entry Go to '-sophy' entry Go to 'bucco-' entry Go to '-ism' entry Go to '-lysis' entry Go to 'galacto-' entry Go to '-anthropy' entry Go to 'pneumo-' entry Go to '-ploitation' entry Go to '-lithic' entry Go to '-sepalous' entry Go to 'onco-' entry Go to '-parous' entry Go to 'dermato-' entry Go to 'multi-' entry Go to 'dodeca-' entry Go to '-zoon' entry Go to 'vermi-' entry Go to 'crystallo-' entry Go to 'biblio-' entry Go to 'eco-' entry Go to 'juxta-' entry Go to 'facio-' entry
Affixes: the building blocks of English
Affixes: the building blocks of English

ambi-

On both sides; around.

[Latin ambo, both, or ambi-, on both sides, around.]

In the sense of both, this refers to an equivalence between two opposing ideas or forces, as in ambidextrous, of somebody who is able to use the right and left hands equally well, or the psychological term ambisexual for a person who is bisexual or androgynous. This has been extended to mean an indefinite small number in words such as ambiguous (Latin agere, to drive), a matter open to more than one interpretation, or ambivalent (Latin valere, be worth), having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas about something or someone.

The sense of being or going around appears in ambient, relating to the surrounding area or environment, and in ambit, the scope, extent, or bounds of something (in both cases from Latin ambire, to go around). The idea is more deeply disguised in ambition, which comes from the same Latin verb; originally this referred to going around canvassing for votes, or more generally seeking out favour.

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