American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To stray from or evade the truth; equivocate. See Synonyms at lie2.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To deviate; swerve from the normal or proper course; stray.
- To swerve from the truth; act or speak evasively; quibble.
- In law: To undertake a thing falsely and deceitfully, with the purpose of defeating or destroying the object which it is professed to promote.
- To betray the cause of a client, and by collusion assist his opponent.
- To pervert; cause to deviate from the normal or proper path, application, or meaning.
- To transgress; violate.
- v. transitive, intransitive, obsolete To deviate, transgress; to go astray (from).
- v. intransitive To shift or turn from direct speech or behaviour; to evade the truth; to waffle or be (intentionally) ambiguous.
- v. intransitive, law To collude, as where an informer colludes with the defendant, and makes a sham prosecution.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. To shift or turn from one side to the other, from the direct course, or from truth; to speak with equivocation; to shuffle; to quibble.
- v. (Civil Law) To collude, as where an informer colludes with the defendant, and makes a sham prosecution.
- v. (Eng. Law) To undertake a thing falsely and deceitfully, with the purpose of defeating or destroying it.
- v. obsolete To evade by a quibble; to transgress; to pervert.
- v. be deliberately ambiguous or unclear in order to mislead or withhold information
- From the participle stem of Latin praevāricārī, from prae- with vāricāre, from vārus, from Proto-Indo-European *wā- (“to bend apart”) (the root of ‘various’). (Wiktionary)
- Latin praevāricārī, praevāricāt- : prae-, pre- + vāricāre, to straddle (from vāricus, straddling, from vārus, bent). (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“He used the word prevaricate instead of procrastinate because he was talking about the deceit of the banking industry in cahoots with the government.”
“However: We prevaricate, which is to say, being interpreted, we hedge.”
“Who was that in the Planet Money clip who doesn't know "prevaricate" (lie) from”
“The euro zone can no longer afford to prevaricate and obfuscate.”
“US officials will prevaricate, noting that the US spends this amount or that amount.”
“Even in New York, where you're gay until proven otherwise, I was careful to parse my words, prevaricate for the comfort of others and subtly pepper in the tell-tale personal pronoun in order to introduce the subject of a boyfriend.”
“But Informants may prevaricate for money or revenge.”
“Yet Phil Woolas, the immigration minister (and, as I well remember a nasty little self-centred careerist when he was head of the National Union Students in my college days - a real horrible little greasy pole climber who obviously hasn't changed one jot) continues to prevaricate and pettifog.”
“Dogmatic men coiled around lighted coffee tables will continue to explain, suggest and prevaricate.”
“An E-friend of mine was playing with them and I didn't have to prevaricate when saying how I liked it. posted by John at 11: 12 AM”
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