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equivocal (adj) intentionally ambiguous.

An equivocal statement is able to be understood in more one way, the speaker intending it to be ambiguous. Statements of words which do not have one clear or definite meaning and can be understood in more one way are equivocal. They are misleading. “You shall be free from all worries.” The speaker’s meaning in saying this may be they would help the person to be free from worries or that the person may die and thus be free from worries. This is an example of an equivocal statement.

  • The astrologer’s statement that his client will be flying from place to place and never be at one place may mean either one that the client may be a very busy person flying all the time as a wealthy businessman or that he may be an airlines pilot. Here the astrologer is equivocal.
  • Most politicians are equivocal. While they say one thing which appears to be favorable to public and so understood by them, they mean the exact opposite.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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