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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 The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.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 forms[edit]


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.
    • 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. To render equivocal or ambiguous.
    • 1647, George Buck, Reign of Richard the Third:
      He equivocated his vow by a mental reservation



See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • equivocate” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2020.




  1. second-person plural present indicative of equivocare
  2. second-person plural imperative of equivocare
  3. feminine plural of equivocato