weasel word
noun Etymology: from the weasel's reputed habit of sucking the contents out of an egg while leaving the shell superficially intact Date: 1900 a word used in order to evade or retreat from a direct or forthright statement or position

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

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  • Weasel word — Weasel words is an informal term for words that are ambiguous and cannot be substantiated by facts. They are typically used to create an illusion of clear, direct communication. Weasel words are usually expressed with deliberate imprecision with… …   Wikipedia

  • weasel word — weasel .word n informal a word used instead of another word when someone wants to be less direct, honest, or clear …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • weasel word — weasel ,word noun count usually plural INFORMAL a word that someone uses to avoid saying what they really mean …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • weasel word — noun an equivocal qualification; a word used to avoid making an outright assertion • Hypernyms: ↑reservation, ↑qualification * * * noun Etymology: weasel (I) + word; from the weasel s reputed habit of sucking the contents out of an egg white… …   Useful english dictionary

  • weasel word — UK / US noun [countable, usually plural] Word forms weasel word : singular weasel word plural weasel words informal a word that someone uses to avoid saying what they really mean …   English dictionary

  • weasel word — weasel worded, adj. a word used to temper the forthrightness of a statement; a word that makes one s views equivocal, misleading, or confusing. [1895 1900, Amer.] * * * …   Universalium

  • weasel word — noun A word used to qualify a statement so as to make it potentially misleading. 1900 “Weasel words are words that suck all of the life out of the words next to them just as a weasel sucks an egg and leaves the shell.” Syn: hedge …   Wiktionary

  • weasel word — {n.}, {informal} A word which has more than one meaning and may be used to deceive others. * /When the thief was being questioned by the police, he tried to fool them with weasel words./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • weasel word — {n.}, {informal} A word which has more than one meaning and may be used to deceive others. * /When the thief was being questioned by the police, he tried to fool them with weasel words./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • weasel word — Synonyms and related words: ambiguity, amphibology, counterword, dodging, double entendre, equivocal, equivocality, equivocation, equivoque, evasion, fencing, parrying, polysemant, portmanteau word, prevarication, pun, shuffle, squinting… …   Moby Thesaurus

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