Word of the Day Archive
Friday January 22, 2010
, intransitive verb:
To depart from or evade the truth; to speak with equivocation.
Journalism has a similar obligation, particularly with men and women suddenly transferred to places of great power, who are often led to exaggerate and prevaricate, all in the name of a supposedly greater good.
-- Stephen R. Graubard, "Presidents: The Power and the Mediocrity", New York Times, January 15, 1989
Larkin never prevaricates. He is unhesitant and blunt in his assessment of his contemporaries.
-- T.J. Ross, "Getting to know Philip Larkin: the life and letters", The Literary Review, January 1, 1995
The leadership's perennial obsession with secrecy led it to prevaricate about the extent of the disease in the capital for five months.
-- Roderick Macfarquhar, "Unhealthy Politics", Newsweek International, May 12, 2003
Prevaricate derives from the past participle of Latin praevaricari, "to pass in front of, or over, by straddling; to walk crookedly; to collude," from prae, "before, in front of" + varicare, "to straddle," from varicus, "straddling," from varus, "bent."