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prevaricate

[pri-var-i-keyt]
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verb (used without object), pre·var·i·cat·ed, pre·var·i·cat·ing.
  1. to speak falsely or misleadingly; deliberately misstate or create an incorrect impression; lie.
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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

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

Related Words

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British Dictionary definitions for prevaricative

prevaricate

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

Word Origin

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 prevaricative

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper