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Definitions of ambiguity

  1. an expression whose meaning cannot be determined from its context Scrapingweb Dictionary DB
  2. unclearness by virtue of having more than one meaning Scrapingweb Dictionary DB
  3. The quality or state of being ambiguous; doubtfulness or uncertainty, particularly as to the signification of language, arising from its admitting of more than one meaning; an equivocal word or expression. Webster Dictionary DB
  4. Doubtfulness or uncertainty, especially of language. The Winston Simplified Dictionary. By William Dodge Lewis, Edgar Arthur Singer. Published 1919.
  5. Doubtfulness of meaning. The Clarendon dictionary. By William Hand Browne, Samuel Stehman Haldeman. Published 1894.
  6. The quality of being ambiguous; an ambiguous expression. The Concise Standard Dictionary of the English Language. By James Champlin Fernald. Published 1919.
  7. Uncertainty of signification. Nuttall's Standard dictionary of the English language. By Nuttall, P.Austin. Published 1914.
  8. Uncertainty as to meaning; doubtfulness; state of doubt. Etymological and pronouncing dictionary of the English language. By Stormonth, James, Phelp, P. H. Published 1874.
  9. Doubtfulness; doubleness of meaning; indistinctness or uncertainty of meaning of an expression used in a written instrument. Ninrlle v. State Bank, 13 Neb. 245, 13 N. W. 275; Ellmaker v. Ellmaker, 4 Watts (I'a.) 89; Kraner v. Ilalsey, 82 Cal. 209, 22 Pac. 1137; Ward v. Epsy, 6 Humph. (Tenn.) 447. An ambiguity may be either latent or patent. It is the former, 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. But a patent ambiguity is that which appears on the face of the instrument, and arises from the defective, obscure, or insensible language used. Carter v. Holman, 60 Mo. 504; Brown v. Guice, 46 Miss. 302; Stokeley v. Gordon, 8 Md. 505; Chambers v. Iiingstaff, 09 Ala. 140; Hawkins v. Garland, 76 Va. 152, 44 Am. Rep. 158; Hand v. Hoffman, 8 N. J. Law, 71; Ives v. Kimball, 1 Mich. 313; Palmer v. Albee, 50 Iowa, 431; Petrie v. Hamilton College, 158 N. Y. 458, 53 N. E. 216. Synonyms. 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. Story, Contr. 272. The term "ambiguity" does not include mere inaccuracy, or such uncertainty as arises from the use of peculiar words, or of common words in a peculiar sense. Wig. Wills, 174. thelawdictionary.org
  10. Contracts, construction. When au expression has been used in an instrument of writing which may be understood in more than one sense, it is said there is an ambiguity, 1215.org/lawnotes/bouvier/bouvier.htm
  11. There are two sorts of amiguities of words, ambiguitas latens and ambiguitas patens. 1215.org/lawnotes/bouvier/bouvier.htm
  12. The first occurs when the deed or instrument is sufficiently certain and free from ambiguity, but the ambiguity is produced by something extrinsic, or some collateral matter out of the instrument; for example, if a man devise property to his cousin A B, and he has two cousins of that name, in such case parol evidence will be received to explain the ambiguity. 1215.org/lawnotes/bouvier/bouvier.htm
  13. The second or patent ambiguity occurs when a clause in a deed, will, or other instrument, is so defectively expressed, that a court of law, which has to put a construction on the instrument, is unable to collect the intention of the party. In such case, evidence of the declaration of the party cannot be submitted to explain his intention, and the clause will be void for its uncertainty. In Pennsylvania, this rule is somewhat qualified. 3 Binn. 587; 4 Binn. 482. Vide generally, Bac. Max. Reg. 23; 1 Phu. Ev. 410 to 420; 3 Stark. Ev. 1021 ; I Com. Dig. 575; Sudg. Vend. 113. The civil law on this subject will be found in Dig. lib. 50, t. 17, 1. 67; lib. 45, t. 1, 1. 8; and lib. 22, t. 1, 1. 4. 1215.org/lawnotes/bouvier/bouvier.htm
  14. Double meaning; expression capable of more than one meaning. [Latin] Concise Oxford Dictionary
  15. n. Quality or state of being ambiguous; uncertainty, particularly of significance. Cabinet Dictionary
  16. Doubtfulness of meaning; uncertainty of signification. Complete Dictionary

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