Why was clemency trending last week?


[ih-kwiv-uh-key-shuh n] /ɪˌkwɪv əˈkeɪ ʃən/
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.
Origin of equivocation
1350-1400; Middle English equivocacion < Late Latin aequivocātiōn- (stem of aequivocātiō). See equivocate, -ion Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for equivocation
  • 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.
  • Kirstein may be excused for resorting to a language of equivocation and innuendo in public.
  • We must speak by the card, or equivocation will undo us.
  • None of the past equivocation, the lingering questions, the suspense.
  • But their demurrals too often come wrapped in equivocation.
  • Survival on the streets demanded quick and decisive action, not subtlety of judgment and equivocation.
  • However the theory of evolution is all about equivocation.
British Dictionary definitions for equivocation


the act or an instance of equivocating
(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
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 equivocation

late 14c., "the fallacy of using a word in different senses at different stages of the reasoning" (a loan-translation of Greek homonymia, literally "having the same name"), from Old French equivocation, from Late Latin aequivocationem (nominative aequivocatio), from aequivocus "of identical sound," past participle of aequivocare, from aequus "equal" (see equal (adj.)) + vocare "to call" (see voice (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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