Definition of equivocate in English:

equivocate

Syllabification: e·quiv·o·cate
Pronunciation: /əˈkwivəˌkāt
 
/

verb

[no object]
Use ambiguous language so as to conceal the truth or avoid committing oneself: [with direct speech]: “Not that we are aware of,” she equivocated
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 noncommittal, be vague, be ambiguous, dodge the question, beat around the bush, hedge; vacillate, shilly-shally, waver; temporize, hesitate, stall, hem and haw
informal pussyfoot around, sit on the fence

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

Pronunciation: /-ˌkātər/
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

Pronunciation: /-kəˌtôrē/
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.

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Word of the day flippant
Pronunciation: ˈflipənt
adjective
not showing a serious or respectful attitude