Prevaricate
Prevaricate Pre*var"i*cate, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Prevaricated}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Prevaricating}.] [L. praevaricatus, p. p. of praevaricari to walk crookedly, to collude; prae before + varicare to straddle, fr. varicus straddling, varus bent. See {Varicose}.] 1. To shift or turn from one side to the other, from the direct course, or from truth; to speak with equivocation; to shuffle; to quibble; as, he prevaricates in his statement. [1913 Webster]

He prevaricates with his own understanding. --South. [1913 Webster]

2. (Civil Law) To collude, as where an informer colludes with the defendant, and makes a sham prosecution. [1913 Webster]

3. (Eng. Law) To undertake a thing falsely and deceitfully, with the purpose of defeating or destroying it. [1913 Webster]

Syn: To evade; equivocate; quibble; shuffle.

Usage: {Prevaricate}, {Evade}, {Equivocate}. One who evades a question ostensibly answers it, but really turns aside to some other point. He who equivocate uses words which have a double meaning, so that in one sense he can claim to have said the truth, though he does in fact deceive, and intends to do it. He who prevaricates talks all round the question, hoping to ``dodge'' it, and disclose nothing. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • prevaricate — prevaricate, procrastinate Because their meanings, or at least the implications of their meanings, overlap, these two words are often confused. To prevaricate (derived from Latin praevaricari meaning literally ‘to walk crookedly’) is ‘to speak or …   Modern English usage

  • prevaricate — I verb be dishonest, be evasive, be untruthful, bear false witness, beg the question, belie, conceal the truth, concoct, counterfeit, deceive, defraud, delude, deviate, deviate from the truth, dissemble, dissimulate, distort, dodge, dupe, elude,… …   Law dictionary

  • prevaricate — [pri var′i kāt΄] vi. prevaricated, prevaricating [< L praevaricatus, pp. of praevaricari, to prevaricate, lit., to walk crookedly < prae , before + varicare, to straddle < varicus, straddling < varus, bent apart < IE base * wa > …   English World dictionary

  • Prevaricate — Pre*var i*cate, v. t. To evade by a quibble; to transgress; to pervert. [Obs.] Jer. Taylor. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • prevaricate — 1580s, to transgress, from L. praevaricari to make a sham accusation, deviate, lit. walk crookedly; in Church L., to transgress (see PREVARICATION (Cf. prevarication)). Meaning to speak evasively is from 1630s. Related: Prevaricated;… …   Etymology dictionary

  • prevaricate — [v] deceive; stretch the truth beat around the bush*, beg the question*, belie, cavil, con, distort, dodge, equivocate, evade, exaggerate, fabricate, falsify, fib, garble, hedge, invent, jive*, lie*, misrepresent, misspeak, palter, phony up*, put …   New thesaurus

  • prevaricate — ► VERB ▪ avoid giving a direct answer when asked a question. DERIVATIVES prevarication noun prevaricator noun. ORIGIN originally in the sense «transgress»: from Latin praevaricari walk crookedly, deviate …   English terms dictionary

  • prevaricate — verb /prɪˈvaɹɪkeɪt,pɹɪˈvæɹɪkeɪt,pɹɪˈvɛɹɪkeɪt/ a) To shift or turn from direct speech or behaviour; to evade the truth; to waffle or be (intentionally) ambiguous. The people saw the politician prevaricate every day. b) To behave in an evasive way… …   Wiktionary

  • prevaricate — [[t]prɪvæ̱rɪkeɪt[/t]] prevaricates, prevaricating, prevaricated VERB If you prevaricate, you avoid giving a direct answer or making a firm decision. British ministers continued to prevaricate. Derived words: prevarication… …   English dictionary

  • prevaricate — [prɪ varɪkeɪt] verb speak or act evasively. Derivatives prevarication noun prevaricator noun Origin C16 (earlier (ME) as prevarication and prevaricator), in the sense go astray, transgress : from L. praevaricat , praevaricari walk crookedly,… …   English new terms dictionary

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