Open main menu
See also: equivócate



Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for equivocate in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)

Alternative formsEdit


From Medieval Latin aequivocātus, perfect passive participle of aequivocō (I am called by the same name), from Late Latin aequivocus (ambiguous, equivocal): compare French équivoquer. See equivocal.


  • (US) IPA(key): /ɪˈkwɪvəˌkeɪt/
  • (file)


equivocate (third-person singular simple present equivocates, present participle equivocating, simple past and past participle equivocated)

  1. (intransitive) To use words of equivocal or doubtful signification; to express one's opinions in terms which admit of different senses, with intent to deceive; to use ambiguous expressions with a view to mislead; as, to equivocate is the work of duplicity.
    All that Garnet had to say for him was that he supposed he meant to equivocate. (Can we date this quote by Edward Stillingfleet?).
  2. To render equivocal or ambiguous.
    He equivocated his vow by a mental reservation. (Can we date this quote by George Buck?)



See alsoEdit

Further readingEdit

  • equivocate” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2019.