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[ih-kwiv-uh-keyt] /ɪˈkwɪv əˌkeɪt/
verb (used without object), equivocated, equivocating.
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.
late Middle English
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
evade, stall, dodge. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for equivocating
  • Present results with caution, and insist on equivocating.
  • Read that statement and tell me if you've ever seen anything so lily-livered and equivocating.
  • But as a new leader, with a general election drawing near, he will be allowed the luxury of equivocating.
  • To say that something doesn't happen because no human has the ability to detect it is still equivocating.
  • The actors have given him the privilege of saying what he feels with no equivocating.
  • The novel is rather sly in equivocating between these two explanations.
  • Present results with caution, and insist on equivocating.
  • They don't want equivocating statements the way scientists often make them.
British Dictionary definitions for equivocating


(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 equivocating



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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