Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To use equivocal language intentionally.
  • intransitive v. To avoid making an explicit statement. See Synonyms at lie2.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To use words of equivocal or doubtful signification; to express one's opinions in terms which admit of different senses, with intent to deceive; to use ambiguous expressions with a view to mislead; as, to equivocate is the work of duplicity.
  • v. To render equivocal or ambiguous.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To use words of equivocal or doubtful signification; to express one's opinions in terms which admit of different senses, with intent to deceive; to use ambiguous expressions with a view to mislead.
  • transitive v. To render equivocal or ambiguous.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To use words of a doubtful signification; express one's opinions in terms which admit of different interpretations; specifically, to use ambiguous expressions with a view to mislead; prevaricate.
  • To render equivocal; render false or lying.
  • Having a double signification.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. be deliberately ambiguous or unclear in order to mislead or withhold information

Etymologies

Middle English equivocaten, from Medieval Latin aequivocāre, aequivocāt-, from Late Latin aequivocus, equivocal; see equivocal.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Medieval Latin aequivocātus, perfect passive participle of aequivocō ("I am called by the same name"), from Late Latin aequivocus ("ambiguous, equivocal"): confer French équivoquer. See equivocal. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • I am in earnest
    I will not equivocate
    I will not excuse
    I will not retreat a single inch;
    and I will be heard.

    William Lloyd Garrison

    March 12, 2008

  • equivocate: to mislead.
    equivocarse: to be mistaken.

    January 10, 2008