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prevaricate Syllabification: pre·var·i·cate
Pronunciation: /prəˈverəˌkāt/

Definition of prevaricate in English:


[no object]
Speak or act in an evasive way: he seemed to prevaricate when journalists asked pointed questions
More example sentences
  • Not dissembling, not equivocating, not prevaricating, not misinforming, not distorting.
  • As for the moral arguments, let's insist on a full and complete discussion of those too - without the usual shilly-shallying and prevaricating.
  • That is they kept quibbling and prevaricating and showing stubbornness.
be evasive, beat around the bush, hedge, fence, shilly-shally, dodge (the issue), sidestep (the issue), equivocate, waffle;
temporize, stall (for time);
hem and haw
rare tergiversate


Pronunciation: /prəˌverəˈkāSH(ə)n/
Example sentences
  • Even so, he has continued his policy of deception and prevarication.
  • Now we are fed big pills of outright lies, prevarication, and deception.
  • I met people who had endured 12 hours of mis-information and prevarication before they boarded a plane.
Pronunciation: /prəˈverəˌkādər/
Example sentences
  • They are all castrated, effete prevaricators, and there isn't a real man among them to stand up and dare say the truth.
  • The machine has no respect for doubters or prevaricators; it has no patience for those uncertain of their position.
  • But the future of these two relatively junior prevaricators is not really the point.


Mid 16th century (in the sense 'go astray, transgress'): from Latin praevaricat- 'walked crookedly, deviated', from the verb praevaricari, from prae 'before' + varicari 'straddle' (from varus 'bent, knock-kneed').

Words that rhyme with prevaricate

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