- prævaricate (archaic)
From the participle stem of Latin praevāricārī (“to walk crookedly, to play a false or double part”), from prae- with vāricāre (“to stand with feet apart, straddle”), from vārus (“deviating from the right line, bent outwards, different”), from Proto-Indo-European *wā- (“to bend apart”) (the root of ‘various’).
- (transitive, intransitive, obsolete) To deviate, transgress; to go astray (from).
- (intransitive) To shift or turn from direct speech or behaviour; to evade the truth; to waffle or be (intentionally) ambiguous.
- The people saw the politician prevaricate every day.
- (intransitive, law) To collude, as where an informer colludes with the defendant, and makes a sham prosecution.
- (law, Britain) To undertake something falsely and deceitfully, with the purpose of defeating or destroying it.