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vocabulary
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equivocate

used in a sentence
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Definition to speak in a manner that does not clearly express an opinion or decision — typically in an attempt to satisfy people who want different things or to avoid making a commitment

Word Mastery:  In the field of logic, equivocation is a fallacy resulting from use of ambiguous language in an incompatible manner; e.g.:

     1. Odd things arouse suspicion.
     2. Seven is an odd number.
     3. Therefore people are suspicious of the number, seven.
  • She implied absolute support, but then proceeded to equivocate.
equivocate = speak in a manner that does not clearly express an opinion or decision — typically in an attempt to satisfy people who want different things or to avoid making a commitment
  • I will be as harsh as truth, and uncompromising as justice... I am in earnest, I will not equivocate, I will not excuse, I will not retreat a single inch, and I will be heard.
    William Lloyd Garrison (American abolitionist)
  • O, come in, equivocator.
    William Shakespeare  --  Macbeth
  • equivocator = liar (who uses ambiguousness to avoid telling the truth)
  • The disguise, equivocation, mystery, so hateful to her to practise, might soon be over.
    Jane Austen  --  Emma
  • (editor's note:  The suffix "-tion", converts a verb into a noun that denotes the action or result of the verb. Typically, there is a slight change in the ending of the root verb, as in action, education, and observation.)
  • Even while he trembled in anticipation of what was about to follow, he never contemplated equivocation.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Pathfinder
  • (editor's note:  The suffix "-tion", converts a verb into a noun that denotes the action or result of the verb. Typically, there is a slight change in the ending of the root verb, as in action, education, and observation.)
  • "I did not come to make judgments," he equivocated.
    Stephenie Meyer  --  Breaking Dawn
  • We must speak by the card, or equivocation will undo us.
    William Shakespeare  --  Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
  • (editor's note:  The suffix "-tion", converts a verb into a noun that denotes the action or result of the verb. Typically, there is a slight change in the ending of the root verb, as in action, education, and observation.)
  • "He equivocated and stalled long enough to find a greater magic with which he could defeat me—Pandora's Box.
    James A. Owen  --  Here, There be Dragons
  • His blackness had been equivocated by powder and there was no suggestion in that casket of what his power had or could have been.
    James Baldwin  --  Notes of a Native Son
  • "Did my brother beat out the dogs?" asked Magua, without adverting in any manner to the former equivocation of the chief.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Last of the Mohicans
  • (editor's note:  The suffix "-tion", converts a verb into a noun that denotes the action or result of the verb. Typically, there is a slight change in the ending of the root verb, as in action, education, and observation.)
  • "Answer without equivocation," continued the Judge sternly.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Pioneers
  • (editor's note:  The suffix "-tion", converts a verb into a noun that denotes the action or result of the verb. Typically, there is a slight change in the ending of the root verb, as in action, education, and observation.)
  • She knows she's equivocating.
    Neal Stephenson  --  Snow Crash
  • His final statements, however, were concise and without equivocation.
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Supremacy
  • (editor's note:  The suffix "-tion", converts a verb into a noun that denotes the action or result of the verb. Typically, there is a slight change in the ending of the root verb, as in action, education, and observation.)
  • I will not equivocate - I will not excuse.
    Frederick Douglass  --  The Hypocrisy of American Slavery
  • It was an equivocation.
    Ernest Hemingway  --  For Whom the Bell Tolls
  • (editor's note:  The suffix "-tion", converts a verb into a noun that denotes the action or result of the verb. Typically, there is a slight change in the ending of the root verb, as in action, education, and observation.)
  • The feeling was that if he, George Washington, who had so much, was willing to risk "his all," however daunting the odds, then who were they to equivocate.
    David G. McCullough  --  1776
  • He thought how ten minutes ago-yes, only ten minutes — there had still been equivocation in his heart as he wondered whether the news from the front would be of victory or defeat.
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • (editor's note:  The suffix "-tion", converts a verb into a noun that denotes the action or result of the verb. Typically, there is a slight change in the ending of the root verb, as in action, education, and observation.)
  • Equivocated.
    Arundhati Roy  --  The God of Small Things
  • The result is a quaint equivocation, worth observing carefully because it pictures the state of mind of a man living half in one economy and half in another and wishing to do justice to every interest.
    Richard Hofstadter  --  Abraham Lincoln and the Self-Made Myth
  • (editor's note:  The suffix "-tion", converts a verb into a noun that denotes the action or result of the verb. Typically, there is a slight change in the ending of the root verb, as in action, education, and observation.)
  • I doubt whether I have not done wrong, even now; and today I will, without reserve or equivocation, disclose my real reasons to Mr Cherryble, and implore him to take immediate measures for removing this young lady to the shelter of some other roof.'
    Charles Dickens  --  Nicholas Nickleby
(editor's note:  The suffix "-tion", converts a verb into a noun that denotes the action or result of the verb. Typically, there is a slight change in the ending of the root verb, as in action, education, and observation.)

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