Monday, September 21, 2009

equivocate: Word of the Day Word of the Day

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Word of the Day for Monday, September 21, 2009

equivocate \ih-KWIV-uh-kayt\, intransitive verb:

To be deliberately ambiguous or unclear in order to mislead or to avoid committing oneself to anything definite.

The witness shuffled, equivocated, pretended to misunderstand the questions.
-- Thomas Babington Macaulay, History of England
By equivocating, hesitating, and giving ambiguous answers, she effected her purpose.
-- Harriet Martineau, Letters from Ireland
Dr. Lindzen does not equivocate. "We don't have any evidence that this is a serious problem," he says flatly.
-- William K. Stevens, "Skeptic Asks, Is It Really Warmer?", New York Times, June 17, 1996

To equivocate is literally to call equally one thing or the other: It comes from Medieval Latin aequivocare, from the Latin aequus, equal + vocare, to call (from Latin vox, voice). Entry and Pronunciation for equivocate

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