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equivocate (verb) speak in an equivocal manner.

When you equivocate you do not want to be clear about what you mean. You speak in an equivocal manner; that is in a way that people can understand it in any of two or more ways. “All deserving persons will be helped.” When you make a statement like this, you are not clear about what makes a person deserving, according to you. Here you are equivocating.

  • When I complained that my job was too heavy, my boss assured, “Don’t worry; you will be soon rid of the trouble.” I was happy that some of my responsibilities would be taken away, but only later did I know that he was equivocating; that he had intended to fire me, and thus free me from trouble.
  • When the minister said proper measures would be taken, he was just equivocating, because he did not make clear what those “proper” methods were.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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