[ ih-kwiv-uh-key-shuh n ]
/ ɪˌkwɪv əˈkeɪ ʃən /


the use of equivocal or ambiguous expressions, especially in order to mislead or hedge; prevarication.
an equivocal, ambiguous expression; equivoque: The speech was marked by elaborate equivocations.
Logic. a fallacy caused by the double meaning of a word.

Nearby words

  1. equivalent weight,
  2. equivalve,
  3. equivocal,
  4. equivocally,
  5. equivocate,
  6. equivocator,
  7. equivoque,
  8. equuleus,
  9. er,
  10. er rif

Origin of equivocation

1350–1400; Middle English equivocacion < Late Latin aequivocātiōn- (stem of aequivocātiō). See equivocate, -ion

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for equivocation

British Dictionary definitions for equivocation


/ (ɪˌkwɪvəˈkeɪʃən) /


the act or an instance of equivocating
logic a fallacy based on the use of the same term in different senses, esp as the middle term of a syllogism, as the badger lives in the bank, and the bank is in the High Street, so the badger lives in the High Street
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for equivocation



late 14c., "the fallacy of using a word in different senses at different stages of the reasoning" (a loan-translation of Greek homonymia, literally "having the same name"), from Old French equivocation, from Late Latin aequivocationem (nominative aequivocatio), from aequivocus "of identical sound," past participle of aequivocare, from aequus "equal" (see equal (adj.)) + vocare "to call" (see voice (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper