ambiguity

/aembsgyuwatiy/
Doubtfulness; doubleness of meaning. Duplicity, indistinctness, or uncertainty of meaning of an expression used in a written instrument. Want of clearness or definiteness; difficult to comprehend or distinguish; of doubtful import.
For extrinsic ambiguity, see that title.
Ambiguity exists if reasonable persons can find different meanings in a statute, document, etc., Laskaris v. City of Wisconsin Dells, Inc., App., 389 N.W.2d 67, 70, 131 Wis.2d 525;
when good arguments can be made for either of two contrary positions as to a meaning of a term in a document, Atlas Ready-Mix of Minot, Inc. v. White Properties, Inc., N.D., 306 N.W.2d 212, 220;
when application of pertinent rules of interpretation to an instrument as a whole fails to make certain which one of two or more meanings is conveyed by the words employed by the parties, Wood v. Hatcher, 199 Kan. 238, 428 P.2d 799, 803.
Language in contract is "ambiguous" when it is reasonably capable of being understood in more than one sense. City of Sioux Falls v. Henry Carlson Co., Inc., S.D., 258 N.W.2d 676, 679.
Test for determining whether a contract is "ambiguous" is whether reasonable persons would find the contract subject to more than one interpretation. Tastee-Freez Leasing Corp. v. Milwid, Ind-App., 365 N.E.2d 1388, 1390.
Ambiguity of language is to be distinguished from unintelligibility and inaccuracy, for words cannot be said to be ambiguous unless their signification seems doubtful and uncertain to persons of competent skill and knowledge to understand them. It does not include uncertainty arising from the use of peculiar words, or of common words in a peculiar sense.
It is latent where the language employed is clear and intelligible and suggests but a single meaning, but some extrinsic fact or extraneous evidence creates a necessity for interpretation or a choice among two or more possible meanings, as where a description apparently plain and unambiguous is shown to fit different pieces of property. Logue v. Von Almen, 379 111. 208, 40 N.E.2d 73, 82.
A patent ambiguity is that which appears on the face of the instrument, and arises from the defective, obscure, or insensible language used
@ ambiguity of language
@ patent ambiguity
Ambiguity of language is to be distinguished from unintelligibility and inaccuracy, for words cannot be said to be ambiguous unless their signification seems doubtful and uncertain to persons of competent skill and knowledge to understand them. It does not include uncertainty arising from the use of peculiar words, or of common words in a peculiar sense.
It is latent (latent ambiguity) where the language employed is clear and intelligible and suggests but a single meaning, but some extrinsic fact or extraneous evidence creates a necessity for interpretation or a choice among two or more possible meanings, as where a description apparently plain and unambiguous is shown to fit different pieces of property. Logue v. Von Almen, 379 111. 208, 40 N.E.2d 73, 82.
A patent ambiguity is that which appears on the face of the instrument, and arises from the defective, obscure, or insensible language used
+ patent ambiguity
An ambiguity apparent on face of instrument and arising by reason of any inconsistency or inherent uncertainty of language used so that effect is either to convey no definite meaning or confused meaning. Ohio Cas. Group of Ins. Companies v. Gray, C.A.Ind., 746 F.2d 381, 383.
A patent ambiguity is that which appears on the face of the instrument, and arises from the defective, obscure, or insensible language used
See also ambiguity
@ ambiguity upon the factum
An ambiguity in relation to the very foundation of the instrument itself, as distinguished from an ambiguity in regard to the construction of its terms. The term is applied, for instance, to a doubt as to whether a testator meant a particular clause to be a part of the will, or whether it was introduced with his knowledge, or whether a codicil was meant to republish a former will, or whether the residuary clause was accidentally omitted
@

Black's law dictionary. . 1990.

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  • ambiguity — I noun abstruseness, ambiguitas, bafflement, bewilderment, confounded meaning, confused meaning, confusion, disconcertion, doubtful meaning, doubtfulness, dubiety, dubiousness, duplexity in meaning, equivocalness, equivocation, incertitude,… …   Law dictionary

  • ambiguity — 1. Ambiguity in language denotes the possibility of more than one meaning being understood from what is heard or read. Intentional ambiguity can be effective, for example as a literary device or in advertising. Our concern here is with… …   Modern English usage

  • ambiguity — ambiguity, equivocation, tergiversation, double entendre are comparable when they denote expression or, more often, an expression, capable of more than one interpretation. Ambiguity is referable to an expression that admits of two or sometimes… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

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  • ambiguity — UK US /ˌæmbɪˈgjuːəti/ noun [C or U] (plural ambiguities) ► a situation in which something has more than one possible meaning and may therefore cause confusion, or an example of this: »We wish to remove any ambiguity concerning our demands. »There …   Financial and business terms

  • Ambiguity — Am bi*gu i*ty, n.; pl. {Ambiguities}. [L. ambiguitas, fr. ambiguus: cf. F. ambiguit[ e].] The quality or state of being ambiguous; doubtfulness or uncertainty, particularly as to the signification of language, arising from its admitting of more… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ambiguity — (n.) c.1400, uncertainty, doubt, also capability of having two meanings, from M.L. ambiguitatem (nom. ambiguitas) double meaning, noun of state from ambiguus (see AMBIGUOUS (Cf. ambiguous)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • ambiguity — [n] uncertainty of meaning doubleentendre, double meaning, doubt, doubtfulness, dubiety, dubiousness, enigma, equivocacy, equivocality, equivocation, incertitude, inconclusiveness, indefiniteness, indeterminateness, obscurity, puzzle,… …   New thesaurus

  • ambiguity — ► NOUN (pl. ambiguities) ▪ uncertain or inexact meaning …   English terms dictionary

  • ambiguity — [am΄bə gyo͞o′ə tē] n. [ME ambiguite < L ambiguitas] 1. the quality or state of being ambiguous 2. pl. ambiguities an ambiguous word, statement, etc …   English World dictionary

  • Ambiguity — Sir John Tenniel s illustration of the Caterpillar for Lewis Carroll s Alice s Adventures in Wonderland is noted for its ambiguous central figure, whose head can be viewed as being a human male s face with a pointed nose and pointy chin or being… …   Wikipedia

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