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equivocate

[ih-kwiv-uh-keyt]
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verb (used without object), e·quiv·o·cat·ed, e·quiv·o·cat·ing.
  1. 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.
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Origin of equivocate

1375–1425; late Middle English < Medieval Latin aequivocātus, past participle of aequivocāre; see equivocal, -ate1
Related formse·quiv·o·cat·ing·ly, adverbe·quiv·o·ca·tor, nounnon·e·quiv·o·cat·ing, adjectiveout·e·quiv·o·cate, verb (used with object), out·e·quiv·o·cat·ed, out·e·quiv·o·cat·ing.un·e·quiv·o·cat·ing, adjective

Synonyms

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evade, stall, dodge.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for equivocator

equivocate

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

Word Origin

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

n.

1590s, from Late Latin aequivocator, agent noun from aequivocare (see equivocation).

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equivocate

v.

early 15c., equivocaten, from Medieval Latin equivocatus, past participle of equivocare "to call by the same name," from Late Latin aequivocus (see equivocation). Related: Equivocated; equivocating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper