Origin of equivocal
However, if you split equivocal in half, as equi- + -vocal, the relation of its spelling to its origin and meanings becomes more clear. Think “equal voices,” two or more voices in conflict over a meaning, attitude, statement, etc., resulting in ambiguity, indecision, or deception. Recombine equi- + -vocal, put the main stress on the second syllable, and you have it: [ih-kwiv-uh-kuh l] /ɪˈkwɪv ə kəl/.
The form with the extra syllable is not found in educated writing, nor are any of its matching derivatives, like equivocably, unequivocable, and unequivocably. These are not considered standard variants and are best avoided in writing and speech.
Examples from the Web for equivocal
The results are almost always negative, and when they are equivocal it rarely is an indication of actual illness.Predator Doctors Take Advantage of Patients With ‘Chronic Lyme’ Scam|Russell Saunders|September 19, 2014|DAILY BEAST
His answer was equivocal as Paul said his wife didn't want him to run.
But his wavering and equivocal history on the marriage issue more properly suggests a profile in Jell-O.
The major went away fully satisfied with the house and its inmates; the walls were of glass and could harbor no equivocal conduct.
The chaplain afterward laughed heartily at the equivocal position he had been forced to assume.Reminiscences of Forts Sumter and Moultrie in 1860-'61|Abner Doubleday
My remark was most uncourteousparticularly to one who has ere now given no equivocal proof of his valor.Wagner, the Wehr-Wolf|George W. M. Reynolds
These rocks, on account of their equivocal position, are called metamorphic.
The position may seem an equivocal one—to a certain order of minds.The Master Mummer|E. Phillips Oppenheim