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weasel word

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noun
a word used to temper the forthrightness of a statement; a word that makes one's views equivocal, misleading, or confusing.
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Origin of weasel word

An Americanism dating back to 1895–1900

OTHER WORDS FROM weasel word

weasel-worded, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use weasel word in a sentence

Other 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.
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