the use of equivocal or ambiguous expressions, especially in order to mislead or hedge; prevarication.
an equivocal, ambiguous expression; equivoque: The speech was marked by elaborate equivocations.
Logic. a fallacy caused by the double meaning of a word.

1350–1400; Middle English equivocacion < Late Latin aequivocātiōn- (stem of aequivocātiō). See equivocate, -ion

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World English Dictionary
equivocation (ɪˌkwɪvəˈkeɪʃən)
1.  the act or an instance of equivocating
2.  logic a fallacy based on the use of the same term in different senses, esp as the middle term of a syllogism, as the badger lives in the bank, and the bank is in the High Street, so the badger lives in the High Street

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Word Origin & History

late 14c., "the fallacy of using a word in different senses at different stages of the reasoning" (a loan-transl. of Gk. homonymia, lit. "having the same name"), from O.Fr. equivocation, from L.L. aequivocationem (nom. aequivocatio), from aequivocus "of identical sound," from L. aequus "equal" + vocare
"to call" (see voice).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
His campaign speeches were masterpieces of equivocation.
In it he manages to take down a half-dozen groups in contemporary society
  without a shred of fear or equivocation.
It is not the time for any kind of silly, semi intelligent equivocation.
His equivocation on so many major human rights issues in his first year will to
  haunt him.
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