weasel word


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weasel word

n.
An equivocal word used to deprive a statement of its force or to evade a direct commitment.

[From the weasel's habit of sucking the contents out of an egg without breaking the shell.]

wea′sel word`


n.
a word used to avoid stating something forthrightly or directly; a word that makes one's views misleading or confusing.
[1895–1900, Amer.]
wea′sel-word`ed, adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.weasel word - an equivocal qualification; a word used to avoid making an outright assertion
reservation, qualification - a statement that limits or restricts some claim; "he recommended her without any reservations"

weasel word

noun
The use or an instance of equivocal language:
Informal: waffle.
References in periodicals archive ?
Ignoring the weasel word 'alarmist', his claim is utterly false.
You are not an intelligencer, Nick, that weasel word for spy.
Weasel word is not defined, but one readily gets the idea.
Hayek memorably observed, "can be used to describe almost any action as publicly desirable and has at the same time the effect of depriving any terms with which it is combined of clear meaning": the perfect example of a weasel word, sucking out from the word it qualifies any real meaning, just as a weasel sucks out the contents of an egg.
The government's planning framework with its 'presumption in favour of sustainable development' is a threat - especially as it reduces 'sustainable' to a meaningless weasel word.
Thus a weasel word, deliberately hid the "indirect" consumer-sourced subsidy of over 100%, then and today, paid by the Renewables Obligation.
Just look at their no-run statements - and note the rampant use of that favorite political weasel word, ``intend.
The first weasel word is "detox", short for detoxify, which in scientific jargon means to get rid of toxins.
WHEN I hear the weasel word "modernisation" I look for the dismissal notices.
His latest weasel words, offered to an American TV network, were clearly timed to pre-empt the Chilcot Inquiry's final publication.
These weasel words are scant consolation for those whose lives were destroyed by his arrogance.