Definition of equivocate in English:

equivocate

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • Use ambiguous language so as to conceal the truth or avoid committing oneself.

    with direct speech ‘“Not that we are aware of,” she equivocated’
    • ‘You either love it or hate it, because this never equivocates.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It sounded like I was equivocating; that it wasn't a real apology.’
    • ‘At least it is not, so long as we avoid equivocating on the notion of satisfying a desire.’
    • ‘In the 1950s and 1960s, the center equivocated during the great battles for civil rights.’
    • ‘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 initially equivocating, the ruler finally expressed on 15 August 1947 a preference to join Pakistan.’
    • ‘Stupidity is brief and guileless, while wit equivocates and hides.’
    • ‘Bishops obfuscate, cardinals equivocate and Church spokesmen prevaricate as the tide of media condemnation surges around them.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘Canadians are fundamentally suspicious of any party that appears to equivocate about rights.’
    • ‘I usually do quirky, or poignant, or lyrical - weak and equivocating.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If he equivocates on the urgency to end the occupation, he's spirited in his insistence that the constitution will be Islamic.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The law students squirmed and equivocated to avoid confronting my question.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They want justice to be seen to be done, particularly where perpetrators remained quiet, equivocated or evaded the truth.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘After kissing the subject, he just tapers off, equivocates, engages in euphemism.’
    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 issue
    View synonyms

Origin

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).

Pronunciation

equivocate

/əˈkwɪvəˌkeɪt//əˈkwivəˌkāt/