Advertise Here

Community Comment

A Word A Day — ambidextrous

Good morning, Netizens…

April 02, 2013

Word of the Day

  • ambidextrous
  • audio pronunciation
  • \am-bih-DEK-strus\


: capable of using both hands with equal ease
: unusually skillful : versatile
: characterized by duplicity : double-dealing

“Jensen, a right-handed athlete, quickly began to teach himself to become ambidextrous.” — From an article by Sam Blum in The Daily Orange (Syracuse, New York), February 20, 2013

“For that ambidextrous creature known as the author-illustrator—or at least for the best among them—story and art, like mind and body, are almost impossible to pull apart.” — from a book review by Meg Wolitzer in the New York Times, November 10, 2011


Latin “dexter” originally meant “related to or situated on the right side,” but since most people do things better with the right hand, “dexter” developed the sense of “skillful” (as demonstrated by our word “dexterous“). In 1646, English physician and author Sir Thomas Browne combined “dexter” with the Latin prefix “ambi-” (meaning “both”) in the first documented use of “ambidextrous”: “Some are … ambidextrous or right-handed on both sides.” The word can now describe the kind of physical or mental agility demonstrated by one with multiple diverse talents.

From Merriam-Webster Online at



Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to Community Comment

Get blog updates by email

About this blog

Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane.

Latest comments »

Read all the posts from recent conversations on Community Comment.

Search this blog
Subscribe to this blog
Advertise Here