Definition of equivocate in English:

equivocate

Line breaks: equivo|cate
Pronunciation: /ɪˈkwɪvəkeɪt
 
/

verb

[no object]
Use ambiguous language so as to conceal the truth or avoid committing oneself: the government have equivocated too often in the past
More example sentences
  • The law students squirmed and equivocated to avoid confronting my question.
  • At least it is not, so long as we avoid equivocating on the notion of satisfying a desire.
  • They want justice to be seen to be done, particularly where perpetrators remained quiet, equivocated or evaded the truth.
Synonyms
prevaricate, be evasive, be non-committal, be vague, be ambiguous, evade/dodge the issue, beat about the bush, hedge, hedge one's bets, fudge the issue; fence, parry questions; vacillate, shilly-shally, cavil, waver, quibble; temporize, hesitate, stall (for time), shuffle about; Britishhum and haw
informal pussyfoot around, waffle, flannel, sit on the fence, duck the issue/question
archaic palter

Origin

late Middle English (in the sense 'use a word in more than one sense'): from late Latin aequivocat- 'called by the same name', from the verb aequivocare, from aequivocus (see equivocal).

Derivatives

equivocator

noun
More example sentences
  • Indeed, there's reason to hope that even the most benighted American moral equivocators may come to realize that the message of September is the exact opposite of the one they've been preaching.
  • Paul Newman has played moral equivocators his entire career, whether they were good guys or bad.
  • Like one equivocator who was well-known for her ability to fudge her forecasts, some of the psychics offered predictions for 2000 that were just as wishy-washy.

equivocatory

adjective
More example sentences
  • He also contends that his qualification of the government's factual proffer, as described above, showed that he was "equivocatory" on entering the plea.
  • It can be casually entertaining, dull but compelling because of its authorship or outrageously challenging an equivocatory, apologetic or blatantly misleading editorial.

Definition of equivocate in:

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