prevarication


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pre·var·i·cate

 (prĭ-văr′ĭ-kāt′)
v. pre·var·i·cat·ed, pre·var·i·cat·ing, pre·var·i·cates
v.intr.
1. To speak or write evasively. See Synonyms at lie2.
2. (Usage Problem) To behave in an indecisive manner; delay or procrastinate.
v.tr.
To utter or say in an evasive manner.

[Latin praevāricārī, praevāricāt-, to straddle across (something), collude (used of lawyers) : prae-, pre- + vāricāre, to straddle (from vāricus, straddling, from vārus, bow-legged, bandy).]

pre·var′i·ca′tion n.
pre·var′i·ca′tor n.
Usage Note: The traditional meaning of prevaricate is "to speak or write evasively." In recent years, a second sense has developed, meaning "to behave in an indecisive manner; delay or procrastinate," perhaps influenced by equivocate, which primarily means "to speak evasively" but can also mean "to be indecisive." In American English, this second sense is widely considered an error, and a large majority of the Usage Panel finds it unacceptable. In 2011, 78 percent of the Panel disapproved of the "delay" sense of the word as used in the sentence He prevaricated for some two years before accepting the new design for production. This usage is more commonly encountered in British English, as in this quotation from the BBC News: As the industry prevaricated, sales collapsed.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.prevarication - a statement that deviates from or perverts the truthprevarication - a statement that deviates from or perverts the truth
falsehood, untruth, falsity - a false statement
fib, taradiddle, tarradiddle, tale, story - a trivial lie; "he told a fib about eating his spinach"; "how can I stop my child from telling stories?"
jactitation - (law) a false boast that can harm others; especially a false claim to be married to someone (formerly actionable at law)
whopper, walloper - a gross untruth; a blatant lie
white lie - an unimportant lie (especially one told to be tactful or polite)
2.prevarication - intentionally vague or ambiguous
equivocalness, ambiguity - unclearness by virtue of having more than one meaning
untruthfulness - the quality of being untruthful
3.prevarication - the deliberate act of deviating from the truth
falsification, misrepresentation - a willful perversion of facts
fibbing, paltering - a trivial act of lying or being deliberately unclear

prevarication

noun evasion, lies, deception, pretence, deceit, quibbling, misrepresentation, falsehood, untruth, falsification, equivocation, cavilling After months of prevarication, a decision has been made.

prevarication

noun
1. The use or an instance of equivocal language:
Informal: waffle.
Translations

prevarication

[prɪˌværɪˈkeɪʃən] Nevasivas fpl

prevarication

[prɪˌværɪˈkeɪʃən] natermoiements mpl
I'm tired of his prevarication → je suis las de ses atermoiements

prevarication

nAusflucht f; (= prevaricating)Ausflüchte pl, → Ausweichmanöver pl

prevarication

[prɪˌværɪˈkeɪʃn] ntergiversazione f
References in classic literature ?
Godfrey left the room, hardly knowing whether he were more relieved by the sense that the interview was ended without having made any change in his position, or more uneasy that he had entangled himself still further in prevarication and deceit.
Campbell knew the uselessness of any prevarication with an Indian; and the importance of complete frankness.
could he stoop to such shameless prevarication as this?
If you persist in your present prevarication, I can, and will, make that sheet of note-paper you have stolen from me nothing but waste paper in your hands.
Which prevarication was bare-faced, by virtue of his having just installed the ram and piped the land.
He hesitated; and his answer, when he succeeded in making it, began with a prevarication.
Yet such was the consequence of his prevarication that he could not obey the call.
He moved for a time aimlessly in that good company, humming a popular but refined tune, and thinking vaguely of a business letter from abroad, which had to be answered on the morrow with cautious prevarication.
How could I expect her to put all her trust in me if I began by deceiving her--if I fell into prevarications and excuses at the very outset of our renewal of intercourse?
There was nothing unknown or unfamiliar in the path he was presumably to tread; but when he had trodden it before it was as a free man, who was accountable to no one for his actions, and could lend himself with an amused detachment to the game of precautions and prevarications, concealments and compliances, that the part required.
Regional policy disadvantages Liverpool as evidenced by the Merseytram decision and the prevarication over the second Halton Bridge.
What we could be left with at the end of this exercise in prevarication is a dangerous junction and an airport with unfulfilled ambition.