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English Dictionary      examples: 'day', 'get rid of', 'New York Bay'

Equivocate   /ɪkwˈɪvəkˌeɪt/   Listen

(past & past part. equivocated; pres. part. equivocating)
Be deliberately ambiguous or unclear in order to mislead or withhold information.  Synonyms: beat around the bush, palter, prevaricate, tergiversate.

WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University

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"Equivocate" Quotes from Famous Books

... flushed a little. He felt that questions were trembling on her lips which he did not wish to answer, and the one thing he could not do was equivocate. ...
— 'Laramie;' - or, The Queen of Bedlam. • Charles King

... cast at her a look so full of pathetic appeal that she felt the tears come into her eyes. It was the look of a hunted creature which sees no way of escape, yet which has not the fury of resistance, which pleads its own weakness. She knew that Philip could not equivocate and that the secret of his heart lay bare before her. She shrank from what she had done, and a flood of pity and sympathy filled ...
— The Puritans • Arlo Bates

... a file of the Liberator, which suggests the iron will of the man in his conflict with slavery, and the strength of his purpose is further shown in the following inscription on the side of the pedestal "I am in earnest; I will not equivocate; I will not excuse; I will not retire a single ...
— The Bay State Monthly, Volume 3, No. 4 • Various

... equivocations are, after all, a kind of lying,—faint lies or awkward lies, but still lies; and some of these disputants infer, that therefore we must not equivocate, and others that equivocation is but a half-measure, and that it is better to say at once that in certain ...
— Apologia Pro Vita Sua • John Henry Cardinal Newman

... notions of duty as well as of honour, and he would not equivocate to his mother. "I do care very much for Sibylla West," he said in a low tone; "and, please God, I hope she will sometime be my wife. But, mother, this confidence is entirely between ourselves. I beg you not to speak of it; it must not be ...
— Verner's Pride • Mrs. Henry Wood

... This is (to equivocate on Dante's words) in truth the nobile volgare eloquenza. Indeed it is profoundly true that there is a natural, an almost irresistible, tendency in the mind, when immersed in one strong feeling, to connect that feeling with every sight and object around ...
— Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher • S. T. Coleridge

... am. I will be. Eh, no doubt For some sufficient cause, I drift, defer, Equivocate, dream, hazard, grow more stout, Age, am no longer Love's idolater,— And yet I could and would not live without Your faith that heartens ...
— The Rivet in Grandfather's Neck - A Comedy of Limitations • James Branch Cabell

... freed. His paper was called the Liberator, and the first edition appeared in January, 1831. Garrison registered his sublime vow in his opening editorial: "I will be as harsh as truth and as uncompromising as justice.... I am in earnest,—I will not equivocate,—I will not excuse,—I will not retract a single inch,—and I will be heard." His battle cry was "Immediate, unconditional emancipation on ...
— The Battle of Principles - A Study of the Heroism and Eloquence of the Anti-Slavery Conflict • Newell Dwight Hillis

... literally, calling, occupation; voc'ative, the case of a noun in which the subject is called, or addressed; ad'vocate to plead for; convoca'tion, an assembly, a meeting; equivocate (Lat. adj. e'quus, equal), to use words of doubtful meaning; equivoca'tion; evoca'tion, act of calling forth; invoca'tion; ...
— New Word-Analysis - Or, School Etymology of English Derivative Words • William Swinton

... tell, she only cries. You won't tell; you only equivocate. I don't care. I'll find out ...
— Kate Danton, or, Captain Danton's Daughters - A Novel • May Agnes Fleming

... the duke should not show you the letter," proceeded Philip, "and you suspect that he means to conceal and equivocate about the particulars of it, you can show him your letter number two, in which it is stated that you have received a copy of the letter to the duke. This will ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... may see many a vivid picture rise before our imagination of people who do not dare to sin openly and unequivocally, but manage to do it "as it were" only. They do not lie straight, but they evade or equivocate, or imply enough falsehood to escape a real conviction of conscience. They do not openly accuse God of unkindness or unfaithfulness, but they strike at Him through somebody else. They find fault with circumstances and people and things that God has permitted ...
— Days of Heaven Upon Earth • Rev. A. B. Simpson

... indiscretion or awkwardness he should betray has manoeuvering to the experienced eye of Athos. Besides, to tell truth, whilst D'Artagnan was quite disposed to adopt a subtle course against the cunning of Aramis or the vanity of Porthos, he was ashamed to equivocate with Athos, true-hearted, open Athos. It seemed to him that if Porthos and Aramis deemed him superior to them in the arts of diplomacy, they would like him all the better for it; but that Athos, on the contrary, would ...
— Twenty Years After • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... I will no equivocate that there was, in this notion, an appearance of taking more on me than the laws allowed; but then my motives were so clean to my conscience, and I was so sure of satisfying the people by the methods I intended to pursue, that there could ...
— The Provost • John Galt

... our difference is temperamental. The common words we lay hold of mean one thing to you and another thing to me. I do not equivocate when I say that love is instinctive, and that the latter-day expression of love is artificial. "Art," as I understand the term in its broadness, contradistinguishes from nature. Whatever man contrives ...
— The Kempton-Wace Letters • Jack London

... "Genius of Universal Emancipation." William Lloyd Garrison, subsequently with "The Liberator," was connected with this journal, and in the first issue he announced as his programme, war to the death against slavery in every form. "I will not equivocate; I will not excuse; I will not retreat a single inch, and I will be heard," was the announcement with which he opened the campaign, which he subsequently carried on with more ...
— My Native Land • James Cox

Words linked to "Equivocate" :   mislead, misinform, equivocator, equivocation

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