American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. An equivocal word or expression.
- n. A pun.
- n. A double meaning.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. An ambiguous term; a word susceptible of different significations.
- n. An equivocation; a guibble.
- From Late Latin aequivocus ("ambiguous, equivocal"), from Latin aequus ("equal") + vocō ("call"). (Wiktionary)
- French équivoque, from Late Latin aequivocus, ambiguous; see equivocal. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“How many times, after an equivoque, after the specious and treacherous reasoning of egotism, had he heard his irritated conscience cry in his ear: “A trip! you wretch!””
“It almost always turns upon false relations and equivoque, whence jokers by profession usually possess minds as incorrect as they are superficial.”
“Such was the very philosophical address of Mr. Robert Bolton, a shorthand – writer, as he termed himself — a bit of equivoque passing current among his fraternity, which must give the uninitiated a vast idea of the establishment of the ministerial organ, while to the initiated it signifies that no one paper can lay claim to the enjoyment of their services.”
“Calton was too much inwrapped in the contemplation of his happiness to see the equivoque between Hicks and himself; and threw himself back in his chair.”
“This equivoque has been introduced by intolerant moralists, who, deceived by too much zeal, saw excesses where there was only innocent enjoyment.”
The physiology of taste; or Transcendental gastronomy. Illustrated by anecdotes of distinguished artists and statesmen of both continents by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. Translated from the last Paris edition by Fayette Robinson.
“Yet even the writer to whom I allude shares the mistake about the authorship, and does me the injustice to suppose that there was equivoque in my former rejection of this honour (as an honour I regard it).”
“May I assure him that I would scorn in this and in every other case to deal in equivoque; I believe language to have been given us to make our meaning clear, and not to wrap it in dishonest doubt.”
“Hence we find _Henrico, Felicia_, and the Queen together, going through a well-contrived and charmingly-conducted scene of equivoque -- the Queen questioning _Henrico_ touching the state of his heart, and he answering her in reference to _Felicia_, who is leaning over the embroidery frame behind the Queen, and out of her sight.”
“Every thing, in a word, is tolerated which can in any way be passed into an equivoque.”
“I hear of no news; that of the Duchess of Leinster's (118) match is very equivoque; and extreme their drawing-room.”
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