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equivocate

[ih-kwiv-uh-keyt] /ɪˈkwɪv əˌkeɪt/
verb (used without object), equivocated, equivocating.
1.
to use ambiguous or unclear expressions, usually to avoid commitment or in order to mislead; prevaricate or hedge:
When asked directly for his position on disarmament, the candidate only equivocated.
Origin
late Middle English
1375-1425
1375-1425; late Middle English < Medieval Latin aequivocātus, past participle of aequivocāre; see equivocal, -ate1
Related forms
equivocatingly, adverb
equivocator, noun
nonequivocating, adjective
outequivocate, verb (used with object), outequivocated, outequivocating.
unequivocating, adjective
Synonyms
evade, stall, dodge.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for equivocate
  • For once don't equivocate.
  • Because he is in the right, he cannot afford to compromise and his leaders cannot afford to equivocate.
  • You may equivocate, you may lie in your business, but you don't lie to the press.
  • He did not know how to equivocate or dissemble.
  • In neither case did the speakers evade these questions, nor did they equivocate.
  • However, this article makes the mistake to equivocate economic growth with happiness, inferring that the former causes the latter.
  • True to the best of what this school stands for, he did not hesitate or equivocate.
  • Collier did equivocate somewhat on cross-examination in a deposition.
British Dictionary definitions for equivocate

equivocate

/ɪˈkwɪvəˌkeɪt/
verb
1.
(intransitive) to use vague or ambiguous language, esp in order to avoid speaking directly or honestly; hedge
Derived Forms
equivocatingly, adverb
equivocator, noun
equivocatory, adjective
Word Origin
C15: from Medieval Latin aequivocāre, from Late Latin aequivocus ambiguous, equivocal
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for equivocate
v.

early 15c., equivocaten, from Medieval Latin equivocatus, past participle of equivocare "to call by the same name," from Late Latin aequivocus (see equivocation). Related: Equivocated; equivocating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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