[ ih-kwiv-uh-keyt ]
/ ɪˈkwɪv əˌkeɪt /

verb (used without object), e·quiv·o·cat·ed, e·quiv·o·cat·ing.

to use ambiguous or unclear expressions, usually to avoid commitment or in order to mislead; prevaricate or hedge: When asked directly for his position on disarmament, the candidate only equivocated.

Nearby words

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

Origin of equivocate

1375–1425; late Middle English < Medieval Latin aequivocātus, past participle of aequivocāre; see equivocal, -ate1

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

British Dictionary definitions for equivocator


/ (ɪˈkwɪvəˌkeɪt) /


(intr) to use vague or ambiguous language, esp in order to avoid speaking directly or honestly; hedge
Derived Formsequivocatingly, adverbequivocator, nounequivocatory, adjective

Word Origin for equivocate

C15: from Medieval Latin aequivocāre, from Late Latin aequivocus ambiguous, equivocal

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 equivocator
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper