Definitions

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

  • n. The use of equivocal language.
  • n. An equivocal statement or expression.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A logical fallacy resulting from the use of multiple meanings of a single expression.
  • n. The use of expressions susceptible of a double signification, possibly intentionally and with the aim of misleading.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The use of expressions susceptible of a double signification, with a purpose to mislead.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In logic, a fallacy depending upon the double signification of some one word: distinguished from amphibology, which depends upon the doubtful interpretation of a whole sentence.
  • n. Ambiguity of speech; specifically, the use, with a view to mislead, of words or expressions susceptible of a double signification; prevarication.
  • n. Synonyms Prevarication, etc. (see evasion); shuffling, quibbling, quibble, equivoke.

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

  • n. intentionally vague or ambiguous
  • n. a statement that is not literally false but that cleverly avoids an unpleasant truth
  • n. falsification by means of vague or ambiguous language

Etymologies

c. 1380, from Old French equivocation, from Medieval Latin aequivocātiōnem, accusative singular of aequivocātiō, from aequivocō, from Late Latin aequivocus ("ambiguous, equivocal"), from Latin aequus ("equal") + vocō ("call"); a calque of Ancient Greek ὁμωνυμία (homōnumia). (Wiktionary)

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