• synonyms


[pri-var-i-key-shuh n]
See more synonyms for prevarication on Thesaurus.com
  1. the act of prevaricating, or lying: Seeing the expression on his mother's face, Nathan realized this was no time for prevarication.
  2. a false or deliberate misstatement; lie: Her many prevarications had apparently paid off; she was free to go.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for prevarication

Historical Examples

  • Calendar, he believed, was capable of prevarication, polite and impolite.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • There was no prevarication or difficulty with the only witness examined.

  • He had so ingenious a manner of prevarication that he actually believed his own tales.

    A Pirate of Parts

    Richard Neville

  • I scorn a lie—my prayer is to leave every prevarication behind.

  • Mind, I must have truthful and straightforward answers—no prevarication.'

    Aunt Mary

    Mrs. Perring

Word Origin and History for prevarication


late 14c., "divergence from a right course, transgression," from Old French prevaricacion "breaking of God's laws, disobedience (to the Faith)" (12c., Modern French prévarication) and directly from Latin praevaricationem (nominative praevaricatio) "duplicity, collusion, a stepping out of line (of duty or behavior)," noun of action from past participle stem of praevaricari "to make a sham accusation, deviate," literally "walk crookedly," in Church Latin, "to transgress," from prae "before" (see pre-) + varicare "to straddle," from varicus "straddling," from varus "bowlegged, knock-kneed" (see varus). Meaning "evasion, quibbling" is attested from 1650s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper