Definition of evasive in English:



  • 1Tending to avoid commitment or self-revelation, especially by responding only indirectly.

    ‘she was evasive about her phone number’
    • ‘He was boring, which is fine, but more seriously, he didn't know what he was talking about and he gave evasive answers.’
    • ‘Too many of Bermuda's journalists are poodles, too polite and deferential to get a straight answer from an evasive MP.’
    • ‘He is evasive and answers the most simple questions with long winded often irrelevant explanations.’
    • ‘Not in the mood to be evasive or cryptic, she turned back to him, eyes glowing in the sun.’
    • ‘Regulations that limit choice or impose costs on people invite evasive responses as much as compliant ones, sometimes more so.’
    • ‘The responses were less than evasive and way more engaging, to say the least.’
    • ‘Why will nobody answer her phone calls, and what has the evasive photographer Bruno got to hide?’
    • ‘When he brief the Subcommittee, his answers were both evasive and derisive.’
    • ‘After a few months of evasive answers, they had all but given up.’
    • ‘If the employer omits to reply, or is evasive or equivocal, the tribunal is entitled to make any inference it considers just and equitable.’
    • ‘If this seems frustratingly elusive or evasive, remember the truth is always relative’
    • ‘The most simple of questions elicited a long, complex and essentially evasive response in many, many instances.’
    • ‘The same evasive response comes from the authorities nearer the ground.’
    • ‘Suzie takes the opportunity to ask him just what he is and in spite of his slippery, evasive answer, she does tell him to leave.’
    • ‘If this week's world appears frustratingly elusive or evasive, you're not wrong.’
    • ‘Yes, I'm wondering how he plans to win the public's trust when he is so evasive in answering questions.’
    • ‘My evasive answer didn't seem to satisfy him and he kept his grip on my arm.’
    • ‘Stephane appears genuinely interested in her music, although he is evasive and vague.’
    • ‘Failure to answer, or providing evasive answers will count against the employer in a tribunal.’
    • ‘At Westminster, a series of written questions has produced singularly evasive answers.’
    prevaricating, elusive, ambiguous, equivocal, equivocating, indefinite, non-committal, vague, indeterminate, imprecise, inexact, indistinct, inexplicit
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    1. 1.1 Directed towards avoidance or escape.
      ‘they decided to take evasive action’
      • ‘They tend to be immature, moody, self-centered and evasive of responsibility.’
      • ‘Some cars were forced to take evasive action and swerve.’
      • ‘Blackburn magistrates heard the officer had tried to take evasive action, which resulted in the car swerving across the road.’
      • ‘The first pitch comes in high forcing Roberts to take evasive action.’
      • ‘These spikes of energy, called action potentials, prompt the locusts to take evasive action.’
      • ‘The aim is for them to see you and to take evasive action.’
      • ‘The driver of the First York route ten bus travelling towards York is believed to have taken evasive action to avoid a girl who stepped out in the road.’
      • ‘That gave very little time for either driver to take evasive action.’
      • ‘He held the gun with his arms outstretched in front of his chest, causing drivers to take evasive action.’
      • ‘On two occasions in the past fortnight I have had to take evasive action when children have either walked or run straight out in front of my car at the top of Kingshill.’
      • ‘A dozen people suffered minor injuries after a lorry jack-knifed on an icy M62 which caused cars to take evasive action.’
      • ‘The defendant tried to take evasive action, but lost control.’
      • ‘Awareness of double standards in the adult population causes teenagers to be evasive in their commitments.’
      • ‘He was also oblivious to the fact other drivers took evasive action to avoid colliding with the rear of his slowly moving vehicle.’
      • ‘Pedestrians and cyclists were forced to take evasive action from the bees, with many taking cover in shops and doorways.’
      • ‘Being able to execute a number of evasive moves helps a lot in avoiding death.’
      • ‘The Peugeot flashed its headlights before taking evasive action to avoid a collision with the Renault.’
      • ‘I managed to take evasive action, hit the accelerator hard and got well ahead of him, out of harm's reach.’
      • ‘Singletons living the good life may one day be forced to move back home with mum and dad unless they take evasive action now, a report warns.’
      • ‘In the pursuit of this aim several attempts have to be made, which results in the surrounding traffic having to take evasive action.’
      avoiding, dodging, escaping, eluding, sidestepping
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Early 18th century: from Latin evas- ‘evaded’ (from the verb evadere) + -ive.