Word of the Day

Monday, September 21, 2009

equivocate

\ih-KWIV-uh-kayt\ , intransitive verb;
1.
To be deliberately ambiguous or unclear in order to mislead or to avoid committing oneself to anything definite.
Quotes:
The witness shuffled, equivocated, pretended to misunderstand the questions.
-- Thomas Babington Macaulay, History of England
By equivocating, hesitating, and giving ambiguous answers, she effected her purpose.
-- Harriet Martineau, Letters from Ireland
Dr. Lindzen does not equivocate. "We don't have any evidence that this is a serious problem," he says flatly.
-- William K. Stevens, "Skeptic Asks, Is It Really Warmer?", New York Times, June 17, 1996
Origin:
To equivocate is literally to call equally one thing or the other: It comes from Medieval Latin aequivocare, from the Latin aequus, equal + vocare, to call (from Latin vox, voice).
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