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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.

weasel word

noun
The use or an instance of equivocal language:
Informal: waffle.
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Jack Donnovan's contribution to the vernacular when introduced to the Wild Weasel concept was more enduring, and became the semi-official motto of the Wild Weasel profession: YGBSM--"You gotta be shitting me." This was the natural response of an educated man, a veteran EWO on B-52s and the like, upon learning that he was to fly back seat to a self-absorbed fighter pilot while acting as flypaper for enemy SAMs.
Though only just getting started, the Little Weasel concept could be flying as early as this summer.
Jack Donnovan's contribution to the vernacular when introduced to the Wild Weasel concept was more enduring, and became the semi-official motto of the Wild Weasel profession: YGBSM "You gotta be shitting me." This was the natural response of an educated man, a veteran EWO on B-52s and the like, upon learning that he was to fly back seat to a self-absorbed fighter pilot while acting as flypaper for enemy SAMs.