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Use ambiguous language so as to conceal the truth or avoid committing oneself:‘the government have equivocated too often in the past’
prevaricate, be evasive, be non-committal, be vague, be ambiguous, dodge the issue, evade the issue, beat about the bush, hedge, hedge one's bets, fudge the issuefence, parry questionsvacillate, shilly-shally, cavil, waver, quibbletemporize, hesitate, shuffle abouthum and hawpussyfoot around, waffle, flannel, sit on the fence, duck the issue, duck the questionpaltertergiversateView synonyms
- ‘The U.S. role has been equivocating for many years, because the United States has always seen Turkey as a key ally in a rough region, the Middle East.’
- ‘Bishops obfuscate, cardinals equivocate and Church spokesmen prevaricate as the tide of media condemnation surges around them.’
- ‘You either love it or hate it, because this never equivocates.’
- ‘I usually do quirky, or poignant, or lyrical - weak and equivocating.’
- ‘It sounded like I was equivocating; that it wasn't a real apology.’
- ‘In fact, Finlayson is a little wordy even with his own words, equivocating and hesitating to offer an opinion of his own, as if lacking in confidence.’
- ‘How is it, then, that a man so unequivocal in his own yardstick for cultural superiority in all things, despite admitted unsavoury elements, suddenly equivocates like a fox when asked about censorship?’
- ‘They want justice to be seen to be done, particularly where perpetrators remained quiet, equivocated or evaded the truth.’
- ‘A Wednesday news item on the Prime Minister's intention to refuse to accept a salary increase reveals another minister equivocating on the issue.’
- ‘After kissing the subject, he just tapers off, equivocates, engages in euphemism.’
- ‘In the 1950s and 1960s, the center equivocated during the great battles for civil rights.’
- ‘In the face of interrogation by members of the committee, you waffled, equivocated, lied, feigned lack of memory, and even remained silent, in the face of the most probing questions.’
- ‘Canadians are fundamentally suspicious of any party that appears to equivocate about rights.’
- ‘The law students squirmed and equivocated to avoid confronting my question.’
- ‘If he equivocates on the urgency to end the occupation, he's spirited in his insistence that the constitution will be Islamic.’
- ‘They furrow their concerned brows and squint gravely towards the cameras in their field camo but all you hear is hedge and evade and dodge and divert and equivocate.’
- ‘Stupidity is brief and guileless, while wit equivocates and hides.’
- ‘At least it is not, so long as we avoid equivocating on the notion of satisfying a desire.’
- ‘After initially equivocating, the ruler finally expressed on 15 August 1947 a preference to join Pakistan.’
- ‘He has equivocated, frustrating even ardent supporters like Tauzin; and when he has finally acted, it has been to prolong rather than shorten the telecom slump.’
Late Middle English (in the sense ‘use a word in more than one sense’): from late Latin aequivocat- called by the same name, from the verb aequivocare, from aequivocus (see equivocal).
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