Word of The Day for Wednesday, November 10, 2010


am•bi•ten•den•cy (am-bi-TEN-duhn-see)  n

a tendency to contradictory behavior arising from conflicting impulses

ambitendent, adjective

Related Words: ambivalent, ambidextrous

Sentence Examples:
• The law of psychic ambivalence and ambitendency, as so nicely developed by Bleuler, here shows itself in marked degree. There is both the positive and the negative tendency toward the performance and execution of these activities and reactions which are necessary for the living of a life of a high or low degree of efficiency, so that the ticquer is obsessed by the problem of "to do or not to do." -The Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 1998

• This normal ambitendency, however, never leads to an inhibition or prevention of the intended act, but is the indispensable preliminary requirement for its perfection and coordination. -Psychology of the Unconscious

• Thus, Rank sees man as characterized by a basic ambitendency: driven by life fear to union with others, to relationships of symbiosis and dependence, to losing oneself and one's identity in the collectivity — and, on the other hand, driven by death fear to an assertion of oneself and one's individuality, to a separation of oneself from others, to independence and uniqueness. -The Creativity Question, Albert Rothenberg, Carl R. Hausman, 1976

The Storyline
...by Anna's own ambitendency when it came to asserting herself with her mother.

    combining form meaning "both, on both sides," from L. ambi- "around, round about," from PIE *ambhi- "around". The PIE root is probably an ablative plural of *ant-bhi "from both sides," from *ant- "front, forehead"
    from M.L. tendentia "inclination, leaning," from L. tendens, prp. of tendere "to stretch, aim"

Sources: Dictionary.com

Why This Word:
While ambivalence is a tendency towards contradictory feeling, ambitendency is a tendency towards contradictory behaviors. And yet as equally useful as each word is, one is in common usage and the other almost entirely the province of psychology. I'd submit that often when people express being ambivalent, they really mean they are ambitendent - and ambitendency that has presented them with a bivious choice of how to proceed.

Word-E: A Word-A-Day


jeethesh p said...

write ambitendency in a sentence plz

jeethesh p said...

write ambitendency in a sentence plz

jeethesh p said...

write ambitendency in a sentence plz

Unknown said...

Her ambitendency left others confused about her level of commitment, as one decision would contradict the next.

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