[ih-kwiv-uh-key-shuh n]


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.

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

Contemporary Examples of equivocation

Historical Examples of equivocation

  • "I go for stoppum Hicks' ranch," said Good Indian, without any attempt at equivocation.

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

  • Would she be sure to recognize any equivocation, and be angrier at that?

  • Had you equivocated in the slightest degree, I should have punished you for the equivocation.

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

  • But Peter had reached a point where he was tired of equivocation.

    The Vagrant Duke

    George Gibbs

  • There must be no mistake about it; no room for doubt or equivocation, you know.

British Dictionary definitions for equivocation



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