Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Deviation from what is right or correct; transgression, perversion.
  • n. Evasion of the truth; deceit, evasiveness.
  • n. A secret abuse in the exercise of a public office.
  • n. The collusion of an informer with the defendant, for the purpose of making a sham prosecution.
  • n. A false or deceitful seeming to undertake a thing for the purpose of defeating or destroying it.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of prevaricating, shuffling, or quibbling, to evade the truth or the disclosure of truth; a deviation from the truth and fair dealing.
  • n. A secret abuse in the exercise of a public office.
  • n.
  • n. The collusion of an informer with the defendant, for the purpose of making a sham prosecution.
  • n. A false or deceitful seeming to undertake a thing for the purpose of defeating or destroying it.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of prevaricating or deviating, especially from truth, honesty, or plain-dealing; evasion of truth or duty; quibbling or shuffling in words or conduct.
  • n. Transgression; violation: as, the prevarication of a law.
  • n. A secret abuse in the exercise of a public office or commission.
  • n. In law: The conduct of an advocate who betrayed the cause of his client, and by collusion assisted his opponent.
  • n. The undertaking of a thing falsely, with intent to defeat the object which it was professed to promote.
  • n. The wilful concealment or misrepresentation of truth by giving evasive and equivocating evidence.

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

  • n. a statement that deviates from or perverts the truth
  • n. intentionally vague or ambiguous
  • n. the deliberate act of deviating from the truth

Etymologies

From Anglo-Norman prevaricaciun, Middle French prevarication, and their source, Latin praevaricatio ("collusion with an opponent; transgression; deceit"), from the stem of praevaricari. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • But several months after the ruling, two tiny far-right groups sued Judge Garzón for 'prevarication' -- knowingly overstepping his authority -- in violating the amnesty law.

    Dorian de Wind: Judge Garzón's Prosecution: Spain's Version of "Lo Pasado, Pasado Está"

  • Miguel Bernad, head of the Clean Hands Union, a conservative group that filed the so-called prevarication charges against Judge Garzón, said his organization will continue with its efforts to oust him by requesting judiciary authorities pursue his immediate suspension and removal.

    Spain Judge Faces Charges Over Probe

  • But the speaker for the defence will bring forward on his side the usage of common conversation; and he will seek the meaning of the word from its contrary; from a genuine accuser, to whom a prevarication is the exact opposite; or from consequents, because the tablets are given to the judge by the accuser; and from the name itself, which signifies a man who in contrary causes appears to be placed, as it were, in various positions.

    The Orations of Marcus Tullius Cicero, Volume 4

  • It seems that CSIS witnesses may have engaged in "prevarication," and that material germane to Harkat's legal defence has been withheld by CSIS for no good reason.

    CSIS follies and Cannon law

  • You see, friends, this is the kind of prevarication I fear from an Obama administration.

    China, finally « BuzzMachine

  • The above correspondence also shows that there was no "prevarication" on my part.

    Crowley and North [1991] « Climate Audit

  • And Maurice, who felt — who was certain that the young man was lying, impudently lying, was abashed by this scientific prevarication which is so universally practised in good society, and of which he was entirely ignorant.

    The Honor of the Name

  • Very few men would grow angry over having a statement called a "prevarication" or "a disingenuous entanglement of ideas," but there is something about the word "lie" that snaps in a man's face.

    The Greatest English Classic

  • But Black-Eyes fancied from the blankness of his countenance that he was indulging in the same kind of prevarication with which she would have met such a question.

    Purple-Eyes

  • And Maurice, who felt -- who was certain that the young man was lying, impudently lying, was abashed by this scientific prevarication which is so universally practised in good society, and of which he was entirely ignorant.

    The Honor of the Name

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