prevaricate

[pri-var-i-keyt]

verb (used without object), pre·var·i·cat·ed, pre·var·i·cat·ing.

to speak falsely or misleadingly; deliberately misstate or create an incorrect impression; lie.

Nearby words

  1. prevailing wind,
  2. prevailingly,
  3. prevalence,
  4. prevalent,
  5. prevalently,
  6. prevarication,
  7. prevaricator,
  8. prevenance,
  9. prevenience,
  10. prevenient

Origin of prevaricate

1575–85; < Latin praevāricātus, past participle of praevāricārī to straddle something, (of an advocate) collude with an opponent's advocate, equivalent to prae- pre- + vāricāre to straddle, derivative of vārus bent outwards, bow-legged

Related formspre·var·i·ca·tion, nounpre·var·i·ca·tive, pre·var·i·ca·to·ry [pri-var-i-kuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /prɪˈvær ɪ kəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, adjectiveun·pre·var·i·cat·ing, adjective

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

Examples from the Web for prevaricate


British Dictionary definitions for prevaricate

prevaricate

verb

(intr) to speak or act falsely or evasively with intent to deceive
Derived Formsprevarication, nounprevaricator, noun

Word Origin for prevaricate

C16: from Latin praevāricārī to walk crookedly, from prae beyond + vāricare to straddle the legs; compare Latin vārus bent

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 prevaricate

prevaricate

v.

1580s, "to transgress," a back formation from prevarication, or else from Latin praevaricatus, past participle of praevaricari "to make a sham accusation, deviate," literally "walk crookedly;" in Church Latin, "to transgress" (see prevarication). Meaning "to speak evasively" is from 1630s. Related: Prevaricated; prevaricating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper