intransitive verb (-cated; -cating) Date: 1590 1. to use equivocal language especially with intent to deceive 2. to avoid committing oneself in what one says Synonyms: see lieequivocation nounequivocator noun

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


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  • Equivocate — E*quiv o*cate, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Equivocated}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Equivocating}.] [L. aequivocatus, p. p. of aequivocari to be called by the same name, fr. L. aequivocus: cf. F. [ e]quivoquer. See {Equivocal}, a.] To use words of equivocal or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Equivocate — E*quiv o*cate, v. t. To render equivocal or ambiguous. [1913 Webster] He equivocated his vow by a mental reservation. Sir G. Buck. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • equivocate — I verb avoid a straight answer, be ambiguous, be false, be unclear, be untruthful, be vague, deceive, disguise, dissemble, dissimulate, dodge, elude, evade, fence, hedge, lie, misguide, misinform, mislead, misrepresent, misstate, mystify, palter …   Law dictionary

  • equivocate — early 15c., equivocaten, from M.L. equivocatus, pp. of equivocare to call by the same name, from L.L. aequivocus (see EQUIVOCATION (Cf. equivocation)). Related: Equivocated; equivocating …   Etymology dictionary

  • equivocate — prevaricate, *lie, palter, fib Analogous words: *deceive, mislead, delude: evade, elude, *escape …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • equivocate — [v] avoid an issue beat around the bush*, beg the question*, blow hot and cold*, cavil, cloud the issue*, con, cop a plea*, cop out*, cover up*, dodge, double talk, elude, escape, eschew, evade, falsify, fence, fib, flipflop*, fudge*, give run… …   New thesaurus

  • equivocate — ► VERB ▪ use ambiguous or evasive language. DERIVATIVES equivocation noun …   English terms dictionary

  • equivocate — [ē kwiv′ə kāt΄, ikwiv′ə kāt΄] vi. equivocated, equivocating [ME equivocaten < ML aequivocatus, pp. of aequivocari, to have the same sound < LL aequivocus, of like sound < L aequus (see EQUAL) + vox, VOICE] to use equivocal terms in order …   English World dictionary

  • equivocate — verb /ɪˈkwɪvəˌkeɪt/ a) To use words of equivocal or doubtful signification; to express ones opinions in terms which admit of different senses, with intent to deceive; to use ambiguous expressions with a view to mislead; as, to equivocate is the… …   Wiktionary

  • equivocate — UK [ɪˈkwɪvəkeɪt] / US [ɪˈkwɪvəˌkeɪt] verb [intransitive] Word forms equivocate : present tense I/you/we/they equivocate he/she/it equivocates present participle equivocating past tense equivocated past participle equivocated formal to avoid… …   English dictionary

  • equivocate — I (Roget s IV) v. Syn. hedge, dodge, prevaricate; see lie 1 . See Synonym Study at lie . II (Roget s 3 Superthesaurus) (VOCABULARY WORD) v. [i KWIV uh kate] to use vague or ambiguous language, usually to evade. The politician would equivocate to… …   English dictionary for students

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