weasel word

See more synonyms for weasel word on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a word used to temper the forthrightness of a statement; a word that makes one's views equivocal, misleading, or confusing.

Origin of weasel word

An Americanism dating back to 1895–1900
Related formswea·sel-word·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for weasel word

dodge, evasion, waffling

Examples from the Web for weasel word

Historical Examples of weasel word

  • There it was again, Merrick thought, the weasel-word 'compromise.'

    Turning Point

    Alfred Coppel


Idioms and Phrases with weasel word

weasel word

A word used to deprive a statement of its force or evade a direct commitment, as in Calling it “organized spontaneity” is using a weasel word; “organized” has sucked the meaning out of “spontaneity.” This idiom may allude to the weasel's habit of sucking the contents out of a bird's egg, so that only the shell remains. [Late 1800s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.