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See also: equivócate


Alternative forms[edit]


From Late Middle English equivocaten, 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.


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


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

  1. (intransitive) To speak using double meaning; to speak ambiguously, unclearly or doubtfully, with intent to deceive.
    Synonyms: prevaricate, evade, shuffle, quibble, adumbrate
    • c. 1606 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Macbeth”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act II, scene iii], page 137, column 1:
      Knock. Knock, knock. Who's there in th'other Deuils Name? Faith here's an Equiuocator, that could ſweare in both the Scales againſt eyther Scale, who committed Treaſon enough for Gods ſake, yet could not equiuocate to Heauen: oh come in, Equiuocator.
    • 1687, Edward Stillingfleet, The Unreasonableness of Separation: Or, An Impartial Account of the History, Nature and Pleas of the Present Separation from the Communion of the Church of England:
      All that Garnet had to say for him was that he supposed he meant to equivocate.
  2. (transitive) To render equivocal or ambiguous.
    • 1647, George Buck, Reign of Richard the Third:
      He equivocated his vow by a mental reservation

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Etymology 1[edit]



  1. inflection of equivocare:
    1. second-person plural present indicative
    2. second-person plural imperative

Etymology 2[edit]


equivocate f pl

  1. feminine plural of equivocato




  1. second-person singular voseo imperative of equivocar combined with te